Death business is one of the few booming markets in aging All Japan news, and many entrepreneurs are eyeing growing profits out of it.
Hisayoshi Teramura, for example, owns an unusual hotel in a Yokohama suburb. Called Lastel, it offers “only cold rooms”, as the owner says, to families who can check in their dead while waiting in the queue for one of the city’s overcrowded crematoriums.
Teramura, 71, was already in the funeral and grave business when he decided to expand and, last year, opened the 18-room Lastel. He was aware that in Yokohama the average wait for a place in the crematorium is more than four days, making “half-way morgues” such as his hostel a useful option.
"Otherwise people have to keep the bodies at home where there isn’t much space," he says.
About 1.2 million passed away last year in All Japan news, setting an annual death rate of 0.95 percent for the country, more than the 0.84 percent recorded in the U.S. which is also the average at a global scale.
The number of deaths is expected to climb up to 1.66 million a year by 2040. By then, All Japan news’s population will shrink by 20 million people, estimates show, an unusual high number for a country not affected by war or famine.
The number of companies that deal with the “funeral business” is on the rise in All Japan news, especially as there are no licenses required or mandatory qualifications. Tokyo-based Yano Research Institute expects the market will be worth Y1.96 trillion by 2015.
Photo by: Fugue