Stingy gift

Japan is seeking ways to cut the cost of the silver cups that are presented on people’s centenary anniversaries, because of the rising number of its population who now live to the age of 100 or more.

In 2008, 19,769 people reached triple figures in the world’s most rapidly aging country, compared with only 153 in 1963, when the silver cups were first presented.

With a population of more than 120 million, Japan currently has more than 36,000 people aged over 100.

“We realised there’s not such a big difference in appearance if we cut the diameter from 10.5 to 9 cm,” said an official at the Health Ministry, adding: “We also had to think about how to continue to do this for an increasing number of people on a limited budget.”

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