From the department of cutting back.
Japan’s government will no longer reward its centenarian citizens with a silver sake dish worth ¥8,000 ($64), saying the growing number of long-lived Japanese are putting a strain on the country’s budget.
The Japan Times reports that the government will find a more frugal gift in time for the country’s annual celebration of the elderly on Sept. 15. Last year, the government spent ¥260 million ($2 million) on the program, which provided dishes for more than 29,000 centenarians. Japan expects as many as 38,000 more people to celebrate their 100th birthday in 2018.
To be honest, with Japan’s demographic time bomb ticking away, this could be the least of their worries.