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Japan's Corpse Hotels


Japan has a real estate shortage. There are not enough available plots of land on the islands to build everything that the country needs.

You might expect that a real estate shortage would lead to lack of available housing or industrial space. However, you probably would not expect that one of the things the real estate shortage has produced is a lack of available space to build crematoriums.

The increasing elderly population in the county has overwhelmed the crematoriums.

One solution to this problem is called corpse hotels.

These are structures where bodies are kept until they can be transferred to a crematorium. In some cases, family members of the deceased can even visit the body in the hotel. Some corpse hotels are converted buildings in residential neighborhoods, which does not make the living residents very happy.

The U.S. does not have this exact same problem but does also have an increasing elderly population that may cause other problems.

In particular the U.S. will have to decide how to deal with a diminishing Social Security Trust Fund, long term care, and nursing home shortages in the near future. These are all potentially serious problems and if they are not addressed before the systems are overwhelmed, then the country will have a crisis on its hands, just not a corpse hotel crisis it is to be hoped.

Reference: AOL (April 29, 2016) "Japan's corpse hotels upset some of the neighbors."

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