• A police officer hands out a leaflet explaining the effects of age on driving in Tachikawa, Tokyo. (Japan Times)Source: Japan Times
Drivers over the age of 75 have been granted a considerable discount on their funeral costs should they decide to give up their licence.
Sam Carroll

22 Mar 2017 - 2:28 PM  UPDATED 22 Mar 2017 - 4:22 PM

With more than 4.8 million drivers over the age of 75 according to The Japan Times, traffic accidents involving elderly drivers have become an increasingly prominent issue in Japan.

In the Aichi Prefecture in the central region of the country, 13.2 per cent of fatal accidents in 2015 were accounted for by drivers over the age of 75, up from 7.7 per cent in 2007.

In an effort to counteract the problem, Heiankaku Co, a company that owns 89 funeral homes within the district, is offering a 15 per cent discount on funeral services to those who have given up their licences according to a report by The Mainichi.

Teaming up with the local police force, the initiative was created to increase the 2.15 per cent licence return rate, with Aichi currently ranked 32 amongst Japan’s 47 prefectures.

Similar measures introduced in the Osaka Prefecture seemed to have had an impact, with elderly drivers offered discounts on goods and services, in addition to funeral services resulting in the province having the highest return rate at 5.41 per cent in 2015.

Another incentive-based program in Aichi announced in November last year offered the elderly the chance to get stuck into some discounted noodles, with a 15 per cent discount offered on ramen noodles at the Sugakiya restaurant chain.

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