Japan’s Soaring Fish Prices Hit Healthy-Eating Elderly Hardest

(Bloomberg) — A healthy eating habit of adding fish to their diets is getting increasingly more expensive for older adults in Japan.

The nation’s food inflation surged to a 47-year high in May, with the price of fish increasing by 14.8% compared to the year before, while gains in meat price tags remained at a more modest 8.6%, according to data released by the Statistics Bureau of Japan.

That means the nation’s elderly aged 70 and over, who spent an average of more than 7,000 yen ($48.73) on fish per month according to the latest household spending data, are feeling a much larger inflationary hit than younger people. Those aged 20-29 only spent less than a third of that amount on fish.

Fish remains a major source of protein in Japan, and is particularly important for senior citizens to help reduce loss of muscles and brain cells.

The government has announced an increase of monthly pension payments for the first time in 3 years this year, which would raise pensioners’ income by an amount between 1.9% and 2.2%.

But that’s not quite enough for the growing number of older people facing a higher cost of living, as overall inflation remains above 3%, while the number of workers contributing to the pension system also shrinks.

–With assistance from Paul Jackson.

©2023 Bloomberg LP

Similar Posts