Finnish Minister of Social Affairs and Health in Japan: Solutions can be found to the challenges of an ageing society

Finnish Minister of Social Affairs and Health in Japan: Solutions can be found to the challenges of an ageing society

Aino-Kaisa Pekonen, Minister of Social Affairs and Health, will visit Japan from 16 to 19 October. During the visit, Minister Pekonen will give a keynote speech at the Well Aging Society Summit and meet with Japan’s Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Katsunobu Kato, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hideki Makihara, and Vice Minister of Health Yasuhiro Suzuki. Minister Pekonen will also learn about the situation of Japanese women and of those who have passed retirement age, and meet representatives of Finnish health sector companies.

Finnish Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen
Finnish Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen

The challenges of ageing in Finland and Japan are similar in many ways, and solutions can therefore be sought together. Finland is currently the fastest ageing country in Europe. In 2060, an estimated one third of people living in Finland are over 65 years old. While the number of older people is increasing, the number of children and people of working age is decreasing.

Due to this trend, Finland is now preparing in many ways for the challenges posed by the ageing of society.

Finland's ageing policy emphasises health promotion, prevention of health problems, early intervention and rehabilitation. The Government is preparing an extensive age programme aiming at a more age-friendly society.

“We need to support people – both people of working age and older people – in maintaining their functional capacity as long as possible. To ensure the social and financial sustainability of our society, people need work and work ability throughout their careers,” Minister Pekonen says.

Finland invests in technology and innovations that help older people to live independently and actively as part of the community. In future, electronic welfare services will be developed and the potential of personalised medicine will be taken into account.

“Finns’ health data have already been digitally collected and we have prepared legislation to enable the use of data for research and innovation, for example. We are also building stronger resources for personalised medicine with the help of biobanks and national centres of expertise.”