Conference urges Okinawans to reclaim the title of the Japan’s longest-living people

Conference urges Okinawans to reclaim the title of the Japan's longest-living people

Participants of the conference discuss ways to make Okinawa reclaim its title as the prefecture with the longest-living people at Okinawa Prefectural office building on April 10.

April 11, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

A conference aimed at reclaiming Okinawa’s status as the home of Japan’s longest living people was held on April 10. Seventy-one organizations, including the Okinawa Prefectural Government and economic and medical organizations took part in it. The conference has kicked off with the first meeting at the prefectural government office building.

Life expectancy statistics published by prefectural and city governments last February, showed Okinawa had dropped off first place in female division. Okinawa could soon lose the title of the prefecture with the longest-living people. The conference aims to appeal to Okinawan people to reclaim the title.

The conference sets out a plan to return Okinawa to the top ranking in life expectancy by 2040. For that purpose, it announced policies to increase people’s life expectancy by helping them live more healthily.

The conference will promote awareness of healthy living to the Okinawan population, seeking cooperation from Okinawan industries that affect people’s diet, work and lifestyle.

Besides encouraging people to be conscious about healthy living, it will certify as model projects local governments and business efforts to promote longevity. The conference plans to award and support these organizations.

The Okinawa Prefectural government stressed that Okinawan people in their working years, from 20-60 plus, have poorer health than the national averages. If the current trend continues, Okinawa will see a further decrease in people’s health.

To improve people’s health, the conference will work on identifying trends and dealing with common diseases in different workplaces and regions. It aims to decrease the death rate of people aged 20 to 64 by 10 percent by 2020.

To improve lifestyle habits, conference organisers plan to set up provision for general physical checkups and medical checks for people with cancer. They also intend to work on decreasing obesity rates and alcoholism.

Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima said, “I want people to discuss the issue actively and make the conference matter.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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