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The Word From The President

This spring will mark the fifth since the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology became an incorporated administrative agency. Japan’s rate of aging has already exceeded 25%, and we are in a situation where we have arrived at the base camp of the mountain range called a super aging society that no human has ever experienced.

Even with sufficient equipment, in the form of universal care and a nursing care insurance system, no one would think that this mountain range can be easily traversed.

A super aging society is typified by 1) a dramatic increase in dementia, 2) an increase in the number of elderly persons who have both functioning disorders and diseases, and 3) a high mortality rate, with all three of the above occurring concurrently.

The number of those who have dementia, including those who are likely to have dementia, is already 8 million. Our center has demonstrated the dementia-preventing effects of exercise and intellectual stimulation and there is a need to nationally and strategically make efforts towards managing exercise and adult diseases, which can postpone the onset of dementia, even if only briefly, as a safeguard against the impairment of memory and judgment, as is the case with “Measures for Metabolic Syndrome,” which are safeguards against vascular lesions. In order to do this, I believe that scientific trials performed with those who are likely to have dementia must be proved by multiple cohorts. The Center for Development of Advanced Medicine for Dementia also plays a leading role in the development of more effective dementia medication, and is getting closer to drug discovery in collaboration with several medical institutions in Japan.

Those who do not want to have dementia have been decreasing due to the advancement in medical treatment and nursing care, but it is also a fact that apprehension is still profound. The large-scale data of The Center for Comprehensive Care and Research on Memory Disorders, which is the largest in the world, has been stored in BIOBANK, and the center always opens its doors to collaborative research on diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and care methods. We would like to respond to our mission to provide a sense of ease even if only slightly by fleshing out the future direction of the national-level medical care for dementia (Orange Plan).

It is rather normal for elderly disabled persons to become sick and become physically impaired in daily life due to a disease if they are aged 85 and older. Instead of just being satisfied with recovery from an organ disease after the acute period, we will provide medical care that consolidates the best of geriatric medicine with the aim of recovering vital functions and helping patients to spend a peaceful life at home. Working together with nursing care, we strive to further disseminate regional comprehensive and home medical care, as well as develop nursing-care robots and support equipment, which has been delayed to a certain extent on Japan’s medical front.

In an age of relatively high mortality rates, does talk of death frequently occur? According to a survey, the answer is ‘no’ and it is not always easy for patients and their family to decide unanimously on a plan or policy pertaining to end-of-life care.
Even as we educate our medical staff to be able to climb well on a steep peak and tenderly give consideration to not only health but also end-of-life care beyond the peak, we seek critical guidance and encouragement from citizens, as we work toward a super-aging society in which everyone will be able to understand “dementia, disabled persons, and end-of-life care” instead of seeing these individuals as someone else’s problem. We hope that citizens will support the realization of our center’s philosophy of “contributing to citizens’ medical welfare by trying to support elderly persons toward becoming physically and mentally independent.”

The National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, an Independent
Administrative Agency;
Kenji Toba, President



  • National Hospital for Geriatric Medicine, NCGG
  • Research Institute, NCGG
  • Center for Development of Advanced Medicine for Dementia
  • Center for Gerontology and Social Science

National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology

7-430 Morioka-cho, Obu City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan