In Japan, Retirees Go On Working

A retirement-age hike may ease the country’s pension load
Japan, with the world's oldest populace, is trying to raise its retirement age Photograph by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

When he retired three years ago, Hirofumi Mishima got right back to work. After aging out of a $77,000-a-year job as an industrial gas analyst, he spent six months trawling the vacancy boards at a Tokyo employment center. Fifteen days each month, Mishima, 69, rises at 4 a.m. for an eight-and-a-half-hour shift overseeing the supply of hydrogen gas to buses. His daily commute has risen from three hours to four even as his earnings have dropped by more than a third. “Keeping a regular job is the most stimulating thing for me,” he says. “Now, I work for my health. I’m very happy my job gives me mobility and helps me stay active.”

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