What is SAG Japan (Society for Applied Gerontology - Japan)

■Prospectus of this Academic Institution
 The purpose of SAG Japan is to provide assistance to professionals in a variety of fields such as industry, government, academia and the private-sector who are interested in improving services for an aged society.
 Providers of services to the aging and their families require wide-ranging expertise in gerontology. Our aim is to provide leadership as a network center for the development of programs for commercial provision, marketing, and service promotion and creation of social services that will combine commercial success with increased well-being and contributions to society.
Hiroshi Shibata, M D. PhD
President, Society for Applied Gerontology - Japan
Prospectus of SAG Japan (Society for Applied Gerontology - Japan)
■Establishing SAG in Japan
 Gerontology is a new academic field addressing various issues related to aging. It deals with the ageing individual and his or her relationship with society, and hopes to address various issues which arise. Recently, a new focus on intergenerational issues has begun to emerge.
 Gerontology is an interdisciplinary study that mobilizes the approach of various areas such as medicine, psychology, and sociology along with its own core research. Applied gerontology includes educational gerontology and industrial gerontology.
 At universities in the United States, a number of graduate programs in gerontology are offered to train those that assist the ageing population with independent, successful aging practices. The concept that aging is not a process of decline, but rather a life-span development has widely been accepted in various academic fields.
 Schools of medicine, nursing science and welfare studies have traditionally been the centers of gerontology education up to the present in our country. In other words, education in Japan has been focused on solving the problems of sick, handicapped and economically disadvantaged persons. Perhaps this was unavoidable in a country that joined the ‘aging society club’ later than western countries.
 This medical focus has caused a significant delay in establishing structures and policies for aging populations in Japan. In the fields of developing ageing markets, services and product development, limited knowledge concerning applied gerontology is evident. Also, a sense of discrimination (ageism) can be detected in facilities for senior citizens and in regional continuing education programs.
 We would like to support programs and services vital to aged societies from the perspective of not only industry, government, and academia, but also private organizations and individual-level activities. In order to make these programs more effective and meaningful, it is necessary to create a system in which we can study applied gerontology systematically, and one in which people from various fields can exchange their wisdom, ideas and information. This, in a nutshell, is exactly the aim of our Society for Applied Gerontology.
 This society will provide a forum to present members’ research as other academic societies do, and we will also emphasize publishing and the exchanging of information along with various systematic training functions, so that members can improve their skills and understanding. We would also like to prepare retraining programs for people with various qualifications, and ‘skill up’ programs. We would like to further develop our applied gerontology activities through international exchanges.
 We would sincerely like to ask for the participation and cooperation of the people in all industry, government, academia and private-sector fields.

・Science meetings, research announcements
・Lecture meetings, events
・Training associations, various workshops
・Society publications (journal and e-mail magazines)
・Research, Investigation, etc.

 The following chart shows“The Gerontological Agora ”where members from various fields can gather to share their knowledge, wisdom, best practices and partnership through professional activities.

■The Mission of SAG Japan
 The Society for Applied Gerontology Japan was established on October 28th, 2006 and the following chart summarizes its purpose.

The mission of The Society for Applied Gerontology Japan would be summarized as follows;
  1. To contribute to the development and application of interdisciplinary gerontology.
  2. To establish a consortium supported by industry, government, academia and the private sector.
  3. To socially promote and expand gerontology through the above 1&2.
 Gerontology, an interdisciplinary field of study, embraces diversity, both academically and professionally. Considering the increasing need to develop an equally diverse workforce to meet the needs of older adults, it has become extremely important to develop a system of applied gerontology.
 Those who serve society should be diverse, ranging from pioneers in the ageing market who develop products for older persons to people who are making policy in government, to people who are developing programs such as lifelong learning at institutions and other non-research areas. People who directly care for older people in their home and in communities should also be included in the discussion.
 Gerontology should become a part of everyone’s basic education to prepare themselves for ageing in the 21st century.
 Although the philosophy of applied gerontology is clear, it’s concrete content, related activities and goals have not yet been finalized.
 The creation of an “agora,” or common forum where those in various disciplinary fields can gather to share wisdom will depend on the effort and cooperation of each member.

【Source: Shibata H . Applied Gerontology 2007;1: 2-8】