11/30/2015 – Graying Japan Tries to Embrace the Golden Years (The Wall Street Journal)

Nov 30, 2015 Comments Off by

At an office-building construction site in the center of Japan’s capital, 67-year-old Kenichi Saito effortlessly stacks 44-pound boards with the ease of a man half his age.His secret: a bendable exoskeleton hugging his waist and thighs, with sensors attached to his skin. The sensors detect when Mr. Saito’s muscles start to move and direct the machine to support his motion, cutting his load’s effective weight by 18 pounds.“I can carry as much as I did 10 years ago,” says the hard-hatted Mr. Saito. Mr. Saito is part of an experiment by Obayashi Corp. , the construction giant handling the building project, to confront one of the biggest problems facing the company and the country: a chronic labor shortage resulting from a rapidly aging population. The exoskeleton has allowed Mr. Saito to extend his working life—and Obayashi to keep building.

Read the full article in The Wall Street Journal. 

Financial Landing 2015

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