Healthy Aging

an ancient idea, a modern solution

Aired: December 4, 2015


Today, Japan enjoys the longest life expectancy in the world. But at the same time, it’s facing all the problems of a rapidly aging society. If left unchecked, the growing cost of medical care for Japan’s elderly will cause national financial collapse.
The government of Kanagawa prefecture, where the population is graying faster than anywhere else in the country, has launched a program to cope with the challenges.
Kanagawa is pursuing a “healthy aging” model, based on ME-BYO, a 2000-year-old concept from Asian medicine.
ME-BYO is the gradual change between a state of health and illness.
If we can catch ME-BYO promptly and cure it, we may be able to keep people healthy and independent longer.
Kanagawa prefecture is challenging doctors and patients to use new, cutting-edge technologies to detect and treat ME-BYO, in order to prevent the onset of serious disease.
Dr. Islene Araujo de Carvalho, senior policy and strategy advisor at the Aging and Life Course Department of the World Health Organization, visited Japan to see the latest approaches to addressing ME-BYO.


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