Dr. Toshio Obi, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan Visits Mason; Highlights Potential for Robotics for Ageing Societies
Japan is the world’s first super ageing society with more than 40% of the population projected to be 65 and older by 2050. Ageing societies though aren’t limited to Japan – many developed as well as developing countries are projected to have at least 30% of their population 65 or higher by 2050 including Korea, Germany, Iran, Singapore, Chile, U.S. and China. In fact UN DESA projects that 2/3 of world population 65 years and older in 2050 will live in developing countries. The challenge is that for some countries they will become old before they become middle and upper income.
Professor Toshio Obi visited Mason this week to describe the potential of robotics in ageing society.
As chair of the National eGovernment Promotion Council at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) in Japan as well as chair of the OECD- APEC Joint Program on Silver ICT, Professor Obi is building upon his leadership and policy engagement in CIO and eGovernment to foster worldwide cooperation and research on the ageing society challenge.
His talk addressed issues such as active ageing and ageing in place, social engagement and healthcare. And then provided perspectives on the how countries with ageing societies are looking to boost and maintain national economic productivity. For each of these he provided examples of how Japan is developing and applying robots. Professor Obi concluded with a discussion of Japan’s efforts to build a Silver Economy, exporting robots and other technologies oriented for ageing societies.
In addition to a professor of ICT and Director of the Institute of eGovernment at Waseda University, Professor Obi is also chair of the OECD- APEC Joint Program on Silver ICT; chair of the UNESCO UNITWIN Program on Disaster Management; chair of the National eGovernment Promotion Council at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) in Japan; and co-founder and president, International Academy of CIO.
Dr. Obi is a lead editor on a book, entitled, “Aging Society and ICT” and was an invited speaker at the 54th session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD54) at the United Nations in 2016. The event was titled, “e-Aging: The Ageing Society and the Role of ICT Applications.”
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