Why Japanese People Live Long


With an average lifespan of 85.0 years, Japan is the country with the second-highest life expectancy in the world. In Japan, the average female life expectancy is 88.1 years, compared to 81.9 years for males.  

      In Japan, there has been a largely continuous disparity in life expectancy between men and women. The current expectation is that women will live about 6.2 years longer than men. The nation had not even cracked the top 100 nations with the highest life expectancy before 1990. Here is a list of foods the Japanese take that give them a long lifespan;

  • Diet
  • More fish and Seafood

A lower risk of ischemic heart disease is linked to dietary consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, which are present in fish and other seafood. Therefore, the lower mortality from ischemic heart disease and the higher mortality from cerebrovascular illness in Japan could be attributed to the Japanese’s lower consumption of red meat and higher consumption of fish and shellfish.

According to experts, changes in the Japanese diet, specifically increased consumption of animal products and dairy products and, consequently, saturated fat and calcium (a consumption which remains moderate), combined with a decrease in salt consumption, are to blame for the decline in deaths from cerebrovascular disease.

  • Soybeans

Asia is the region where soy is primarily consumed, including Japan, where it is eaten raw after cooking (edamame) and especially in processed form, such as soy sauce, miso paste, and natt, or tofu, which is made by fermenting soy milk. It is a significant source of isoflavones, which have anticancer and positive effects on cardiovascular health. Asians have been found to have a decreased incidence of breast and prostate cancer when they consume isoflavones.

  • Sugar

The low frequency of obesity-related disorders including ischemic heart disease and breast cancer can be partially attributed to the relatively low consumption of sugars and starches in Japan.

  • Green Tea

Japanese people typically drink sugar-free green tea. Japanese prospective studies have found a link between drinking green tea and a lower risk of cardiac and all-cause mortality.

  • Plant Foods

High intake of vegetables, fruits, legumes, potatoes, mushrooms, seaweed, pickled vegetables, rice, fish, sugar, salt-based seasonings and tea.

  • The fertility rate

Japan had 3.0 live births per woman in 1955; by 2020, this had dropped to 1.4. Although a decline might seem concerning, there is a direct link between fertility rates and prosperity. High birth rates in poorer countries sometimes contribute to the perpetuation of the cycle of poverty, whereas intermediate fertility rates typically indicate an economically prosperous and stable nation.

  • Overall infant and child mortality rates

Since the 1950s, infant mortality and overall child mortality rates have significantly dropped. Around 47 baby deaths per 1,000 live births occurred in 1950, while 72 children under the age of five died for every 1,000 live births. Infant mortality and under-five mortality rates are 1.6 and 2.2 per 1,000 births, respectively, as of 2020. These figures reflect development that has helped Japan’s life expectancy increase.

  • Wealthy Economy

In the 1960s, Japan had rapid economic expansion, and the government made significant investments in the healthcare system of the nation. The government introduced universal health insurance in 1961, which covered medical procedures and vaccination campaigns that significantly reduced both adult and pediatric mortality rates.

  • Healthy hygiene

Another element that helps to explain Japan’s long life expectancy is the practice of good cleanliness. In Japan, common behaviors like hand-washing and cleanliness are expected, but the nation also has enough access to safe, clean water and sewage facilities.

  • Successful Health Education

Japan is renowned for its effective health education and well-established health culture. The majorities of people in the population visits their doctors on a regular basis and get immunized. A further recommendation that the Japanese people take seriously is to cut back on their consumption of red meat and salt.

  • Low poverty gap

The longer life expectancy in Japan may also be explained by a smaller poverty disparity. It has been established that larger wealth disparity is associated with higher death rates, and Japan in the 1970s had a smaller income and wealth gap in the population than many other developed nations.


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