Cutting yen: Japan saves money on centenarian's gifts


Japanese who turn 100 this year -- and there are quite a few of them -- will get a smaller, cheaper gift from the government this year as Japan tries to save some yen by cutting costs.

The silver cups that the government gives to people who reach 100 will drop in diameter from 4.13 inches to 3.54 inches, according to a Reuters story.

The cups are given on Sept. 15, a holiday called Respect for the Aged Day, and cost about $72 to $82 each, including a wooden presentation box.

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

Last year 19,769 people reached 100 in Japan -- the world's most rapidly aging country with 36,436 people older than 100.