TOKYO — Japan's Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry will launch a number of new projects beginning next fiscal year aimed at helping elderly people to work, as part of efforts to realize Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's centerpiece policy of a society in which all 100 million-plus citizens are dynamically engaged.
A subsidy will be created to promote entrepreneurial efforts by people aged 60 and over, called the "subsidy to support active work throughout life in entrepreneurship."
Aimed at salaried workers, it is intended to increase opportunities for people to apply their abundant experience to some kind of work even after retirement.
The subsidy will cover two-thirds — a maximum of 2 million yen (about $17,000) — of expenses related to the creation of employment, including placing recruitment ads in magazines and elsewhere and costs related to new employees obtaining qualifications.
Hiring two people aged 60 or over, or three people aged 40 or over, will be a requirement for receiving the subsidy. The ministry has allocated 870 million yen for the project in the draft budget for fiscal 2016.
To make it easier for elderly people to find places to work, the ministry will also establish a human resource database in the Industrial Employment Stabilization Center of Japan, a public interest incorporated foundation.
The system will allow people who are scheduled to retire to register such information as their qualifications, abilities, and the fields they want to work in. Companies interested in hiring elderly people will be able to choose from a list of potential employees and hire them through interviews and other procedures.
The plan envisions such projects as people with teaching experience instructing children in areas where there are no cram schools, and elderly people serving as guides for foreigners at sightseeing spots. It is scheduled to be implemented at 150 locations nationwide.
There are also plans to mediate elderly people's re-employment by providing the ministry's Hello Work job placement offices with information about senior citizens who are seeking jobs, with their consent.
A new support system will also be established in the National Silver Human Resources Center Association, which provides its members, in principle aged at least 60, with relatively easy work in special or short-term jobs.
When projects are launched that work with local governments and others on such goals as developing regional areas or resolving employment problems, half of such expenses as the purchase of communications equipment, renting offices and traveling will be covered, up to a maximum of 5 million yen.
The Star Tribune also contributed to this report.