Barbados & Japan Discuss Elder Affairs

Japan’s Ambassador to Barbados, Kayoko Fukushima, and Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Kirk Humphrey, during their recent courtesy call. (Photo credit: Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs)

Issues related to Barbados’ elderly population and improving their life expectancy were discussed when Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Kirk Humphrey, met with Ambassador to Japan, Kayoko Fukushima, recently.

During the meeting, the two spoke about the life expectancy of the elderly in both countries, and the prevalence of non-communicable diseases among them.

Mr. Humphrey noted that Barbados has an ageing population and many encounter financial challenges after they retire.  He added that while the country had a strong social security system, there were some who were not entitled to contributions.

“I would like to retool these people and give them the opportunity for training so they could fit into the new world,” the Minister said.

Areas being considered include opening community centres in the day to facilitate projects to connect elderly citizens on the internet, and teaching family members how to cope with those suffering from different forms of dementia.

Mr. Humphrey further noted that at this time several considerations were being examined to improve the National Insurance Scheme to ensure that persons were in a position to support themselves.

In response, Ambassador Fukushima noted that what was once enough for pensioners in Japan was no longer enough, and the young population was decreasing in comparison with the elderly.

However, she explained that older persons in her homeland with disposable hours used their time assisting in looking after children while the parents were at work. The two agreed to a further meeting to look at the possibility of sharing best practices.

Barbados and Japan established diplomatic relations on August 29, 1967.

Author: Julia Rawlins-Bentham/BGIS


Press Releases

Related Posts



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *