Government data released this week has declared 28% of the population are officially ‘seniors’, and 12.9% of its labour force in 2018 were also classed as senior.
The report released by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry prior to Monday's Respect for the Aged Day holiday says the number of people 65 or older in the country, which has the world's oldest population, stood at 35.88 million, up 320,000 from a year earlier.
The ratio of seniors remained well above 23.0% in Italy, the second most aged society.
The number of Japanese aged 90 or older reached 2.31 million, including 70,000 centenarians.
The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research projects that Japan's elderly will make up 30.0% of the population in 2025 and 35.3% in 2040.
The ratio of seniors with jobs increased for the 15th consecutive year as the country faced a deepening labour shortage. Of the 8.62 million seniors with jobs, 3.50 million were women.