To content
Fakultät Sozialwissenschaften

Inclusion of older people in German and Japanese municipalities: civic engagement and COVID-19 pandemic

© privat
Monika Reichert and Martina Brandt from TU Dortmund University and colleagues during a visit at the "Integrated care center" Houyukai, Tokyo.

Together with Martina Brandt from the Department of Social Sciences, Monika Reichert attended the Japanese-German conference in Tokyo in November, which addressed the inclusion of older people in German and Japanese municipalities, organized by the editors of the publication project "Aging and Care as a Communal Task - German and Japanese Approaches and Experiences", Franz Waldenberger (German Institute for Japanese Studies, Tokyo, Japan), Gerd Naegele (Institute for Gerontology, TU Dortmund University), Hiroko Kudo (Faculty of Law, Chuo University, Hachioji, Japan) and Tomoo Matsuda (Mitsubishi Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan). The publication, to which Martina Brandt and Monika Reichert as well as Toshihiko Hasegawa (Future Health Research Institute, Tsukuba, Japan), Gerhard Igl (University Kiel (em.)), Cornelia Kricheldorff (Catholic University of Applied Sciences Freiburg (em.)), Miyoko Motozawa (University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan), Claudia Müller (University Siegen), Franz Müntefering (former state and federal minister as well as President of the Federal Working Group of Senior Citizens' Organizations, German Institute for Japanese Studies, Tokyo, Japan), Norio Okada (Kwansei Gakuin University, Nishinomiya, Japan) Hildegard Theobald (University Vechta), and Hiroshi Yoshida (Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan) contributed and which is available in both a German and a Japanese translation, was presented at a workshop.

The conference focused on the challenges related to demographic change and, in particular, on social inclusion - a topic that affects Germany and Japan equally. People who retire become cut off from an important part of their previous social environment. In addition, family and household structures are changing. Many live in two-person or even single households. Measures that promote social inclusion are therefore necessary. However, the success of these measures depends largely on neighborhoods and local communities. Such communities offer opportunities for social interaction and civic engagement (e.g., to support older citizens in need of care). In this context, the conference also addressed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the living conditions of older people in Germany and Japan.

The presented book connects to this and examines the challenges of aging societies for different areas of life such as family, care, health, and social inequalities from a German and a Japanese perspective. Individual, economic, legal, and socio-political issues are addressed comparatively, in order to achieve a better understanding of the complexity of development at the level of local communities.

At the end of their stay, Monika Reichert and Martina Brandt from TU Dortmund University visited the „Integrated care center“ Houyukai, Tokio.

Further information about the book.