Most would call Japan’s famously long life expectancy a good thing, but for these Japanese women it’s more than a decade more than they want to stick around.

This Monday, Japan’s industrious workforce and student body enjoyed a day off as offices and schools were closed for Respect for the Aged Day, or Keiro no Hi, as it’s called in Japanese. An annual holiday, the most common way to celebrate Respect for the Aged Day is by gathering three generations of the family as grandparents, their children, and their children’s children spend the day or enjoy a meal together.

However, according to a survey by insurance provider MetLife, a large proportion of young adults in Japan aren’t really looking forward to Respect for the Aged Day becoming about them. The company polled 14,100 people between the ages of 20 and 79, and among the questions it asked was “Until what age do you want to live?”

The average response from male respondents between 20 and 29 was 78.1 years old, while for women in their 20s it was 76.9, both of which were the lowest responses in the survey. While some would say those numbers are still indicative of a long, full life, both fall far short of average life expectancy in Japan, which (as of 2017) is 81.09 for men and 87.26 for women. In other words, the young Japanese adults who were surveyed don’t want to live as long as they’re likely going to, with women having more than a decade of unwanted time shackled to their mortal existence.

▼ As with most food portions in the country, Japanese cakes tend to be small, so pyrotechnics really can’t keep up with the life expectancy.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Japanese men and women in their 20s are already craving death. If anything, it speaks to how attitudes about life and age change as we go through different stages of our lives. When simply asked about if they wanted to live a long life, without any specific amount of time as a set definition, the least enthusiastic group was actually participants aged 50-59, with 47.7 percent saying they didn’t desire longevity. That was the most negative age group in the survey (the average for the entire group was 41.2 percent) which implies that the younger respondents do, at least in comparison to the 50-59 group, have a somewhat stronger desire for a long life even if they may not grasp the mathematical criteria for one.

It’s also worth pointing out that only 38 percent of those aged 60-79 said they didn’t want a long life, which was a smaller proportion than any other group. Looked at all together, those numbers describe a desire to live a long time starts out moderately high, then dips as people get older, perhaps as the increasing pressure of adult life weighs them down. But then that longing for a long life rises again, becoming stronger than ever before and suggesting that life’s sweetest stage comes in retirement. So while the young adults in the survey may not necessarily want to grow old now, once they do odds are they’ll want to keep growing older.

Source: Yahoo! Japan News/Jiji via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso (edited by SoraNews24)

Follow Casey on Twitter as he continues his crusade to make the birthday donut an acceptable substitute for birthday cake.