Japan's internal affairs ministry says the number of elderly people in the nation has set a new record high. The ratio of elderly to the total population is also the highest in the world.
The ministry publicized the figures on Sunday, one day before Japan marks Respect for the Aged Day.
It says the number of people aged 65 or older was a record 36.17 million as of last Tuesday. That's an increase of 300,000 from last year.
The ratio of elderly people to the overall population is a record 28.7 percent, marking a rise of 0.3 percentage points from last year. This increase is partly due to the total population shrinking by 290,000.
UN data also show that Japan's proportion of elderly people is the highest in the world and more than 5 percentage points larger than Italy's.
The ministry says Japan's elderly population consists of about 15.73 million men and roughly 20.44 million women. The female group is larger by 4.71 million.
Over 25 percent of the total female population are aged 70 or older. This is the first time the figure has surpassed the one-quarter mark.
Japan had 8.92 million elderly workers last year. They accounted for 13.3 percent of the total workforce. Both figures are all-time highs.
One in four elderly people, or 24.9 percent, had jobs. That represented a gain for the eighth consecutive year and was one of the highest ratios among the industrialized nations.