Machine Industry Memorial Foundation claims robots could be the solution to avert worker shortages. The thinktank says robots could fill the jobs of 3.5 million people in graying Japan by 2025:
Japan faces a 16 percent slide in the size of its workforce by 2030 while the number of elderly will mushroom, the government estimates, raising worries about who will do the work in a country unused to, and unwilling to contemplate, large-scale immigration.
The thinktank, the Machine Industry Memorial Foundation, says robots could help fill the gaps, ranging from microsized capsules that detect lesions to high-tech vacuum cleaners.
Rather than each robot replacing one person, the foundation said in a report that robots could make time for people to focus on more important things.
Japan could save 2.1 trillion yen ($21 billion) of elderly insurance payments in 2025 by using robots that monitor the health of older people, so they don't have to rely on human nursing care, the foundation said in its report.
Caregivers would save more than an hour a day if robots helped look after children, older people and did some housework, it added. Robotic duties could include reading books out loud or helping bathe the elderly.