People aged 80 and over topped 10 percent of Japan's population for the first time, government data showed Sunday, as the country with the world's highest proportion of elderly people continues to grapple with a rapidly aging society.

The number of people in the age bracket swelled by 270,000 from the previous year to 10.1 percent of Japan's total population of around 124.6 million, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said ahead of Monday's Respect for the Aged Day.

In another record, those aged 65 and older, defined as the elderly in Japan, accounted for 29.1 percent of the total population at 36.23 million, meaning the country continues to have the largest proportion of this age group worldwide, the data showed as of Friday.

Italy and Finland rank second and third, with those aged 65 and over accounting for 24.5 percent and 23.6 percent of their respective populations.

File photo taken from a Kyodo News helicopter in December 2022 shows the National Stadium and skyscrapers in central Tokyo. (Kyodo)

Women make up 56.6 percent of Japan's elderly population, numbering 20.51 million compared to men, who stood at 15.72 million, with the difference said to be a reflection of women having a longer average life expectancy.

Those aged 75 and older accounted for 16.1 percent of the total population, or 20.05 million people, surpassing the 20 million mark for the first time.

Meanwhile, 25.2 percent of elderly people in Japan were in work in 2022, with the number rising for the 19th straight year to 9.12 million, another record. The elderly compose 13.6 percent of the country's total workforce.

The Japanese government has struggled to prevent the declining population from hurting the economy while responding to the pressing and growing needs of the elderly, with many living alone and in need of personal support.

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