As both the European Union and Japan are experiencing demographic change, with an increasing number of senior citizens; urgent questions are arising in a number of social and economic areas. However, this situation also represents an opportunity for new economic and technological developments. The conference on "Ageing societies in Europe and Japan: Policy Responses and Research & Innovation Solutions for Active and Healthy Ageing", held by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the European Commission, with the support of the EU Delegation in Japan and the EU-Japan Institute for Industrial Cooperation, brought together high-level experts and policy-makers from the EU and Japan to share insights, experiences and success stories on how to tackle this common challenge and improve strategies. More than 100 representatives of Japanese civil society organisations, such as business associations, trade unions, consumers and universities took part in the event.
Ms Laure Batut, President of the EESC Contact Group on Japan, opened the debate in the symposium on "Active and healthy ageing: Social and economic challenges", in which Ms Eve Päärendson and Mr Krzysztof Pater, members of the EESC Contact Group on Japan, also participated.
The workshop on "Active and healthy ageing: Research and Innovation Responses from Europe and Japan", held on the second day, focused on concrete responses provided by research and innovation.
As the EESC mantains a dialogue with civil society organisations from non-EU countries, with the aim of exchanging experience on issues of common interest, this event is a step towards further enhanced cooperation between Japanese and European civil society organisations.