Japanese life expectancy declines for 1st time in decade due to COVID-19

Xinhua -- Jul 30
The average life expectancy of Japanese women and men decreased for the first time in a decade in 2021 as the country struggled with the COVID-19 pandemic, health ministry's statistics showed Friday.

The average life span for Japanese women was 87.57 years, down by 0.14 year compared to a year earlier, while that of men was 81.47 years, down by 0.09 year, according to the health ministry.

It is the first time the figure has declined since 2011, when a massive earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan caused meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, leaving more than 15,000 dead and many more unaccounted for.

According to the health ministry, the fall in the average life span was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. "COVID-19 was behind the decline for most of the men," a ministry official said.

About 16,000 people in Japan died of COVID-19 in 2021, according to the health ministry.

Despite the decline, 88.3 percent of Japanese women who were born in 2021 are expected to live until 75 years old, while that of the men born last year is predicted to be 76.0 percent, according to the health ministry's estimate. ...continue reading

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