Hitting the 100-year old mark for us and the rest of the world , except Japan is a novelty. Not many hit the century. But in Japan it is becoming a very common phenomena and this has put the Govt in a quandary.
The Govt of Japan follows a tradition – any citizen who turns 100 is gifted a a silver sakazuki, a shallow bowl for ceremonial sips of sake and a letter from the PM. This has been the tradition for the past 50 years. But this could soon change. Japan’s health ministry, which administers the commendation program, has decided to halve its 2016 budget and to account for this, the Govt is looking at gifting bowls out of a mix of copper, nickel and zinc—with a silver finish. After all, the Govt says that turning 100 is no longer a one-off event.
When the silver bowls were first gifted in 1963, there were 153 who were aged 100 and above. Today, some 30,000 Japanese turn 100 every year and by 2050, the Govt estimates over 6.8 lakh citizens to hit a century or more. Well, if this is the statistics, clearly, the silver bowl has outlived its novelty as seeing this bowl in almost every household could become a reality.
And are the senior citizens perturbed by this news? Not really as most say that the Govt can even stop handing out the gifts as it should not become a burden on the working generation. Can we ever expect such mature thinking in our society?