‘Better Life Better Place’ for the Elderly and Children ProgramJoint project launched by MetLife Foundation and The Nippon Foundation

The Nippon Foundation and MetLife Insurance K.K. (“MetLife Japan”), representing MetLife Foundation, have announced the launch of “MetLife Foundation x The Nippon Foundation: ‘Better Life Better Place’ for the Elderly and Children,” a program to develop twelve care facilities for older persons and children across Japan by the end of 2024.

Starting this month, the program will begin developing home-like hospice facilities for older persons and Children’s 3rd Places (a third place, in addition to home and school, where children living under difficult circumstances can spend time). The Nippon Foundation will operate the facilities nationwide and MetLife Japan employees will have opportunities to support the facilities and their residents through volunteer programs, including much-needed support for users and care workers and educational and financial empowerment programs for children.

MetLife Foundation, the philanthropic arm of MetLife, will donate US$3.75 million (approx. 400 million yen) to the program. MetLife Foundation has a long tradition of supporting initiatives that improve the quality of lives and increase opportunities for the underserved.

“MetLife Foundation is delighted to partner with The Nippon Foundation to build a strong, multi-year program to help those in communities where we work and live,” said MetLife Japan Representative Statutory Executive Officer, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Dirk Ostijn. “With the grant from MetLife Foundation, The Nippon Foundation and volunteers from MetLife Japan, we will all work together to tackle the societal challenges facing the elderly and children in Japan with the aim of building a sustainable society where no one is left behind.”

The Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa remarked, “We are very grateful to receive this donation of more than 400 million yen to be granted over the next three years, in recognition of The Nippon Foundation’s activities to date. This is a very large amount, and we look forward to working with MetLife Japan and MetLife Foundation to address issues facing older persons and children.”

Background of the program

While the majority of older persons in Japan pass away in hospitals, about 80% express a desire to live out their final days at home.1 Amid an acceleration of Japan’s super-aging society, there is a need for environments in which people can feel at ease at the end of their lives. At the same time, roughly one in seven children in Japan live in relative poverty,2 and the economic and educational disparities will only worsen under the ongoing pandemic.3 Given these difficult conditions, the need for programs like these to support these two vulnerable groups could not be more urgent.

Outline of ‘Better Life Better Place’ for the Elderly and Children program

Home-Like Hospice for Older Persons

The number of older people in Japan has been increasing. This program will provide a safe, home-like environment where these people can spend their last days supported in comfort. Local home helpers, visiting nurses, and volunteers will work together to support residents’ daily medical, nursing, and preventive care needs. The program aims to have 10 facilities up and running, in the Kanto, Kansai, Tohoku, and Kyushu areas, by the first half of 2024.

Children’s 3rd Places

The aim of Children’s 3rd Places is to provide after-school facilities for children facing challenges including being left alone or having to eat alone because of family circumstances, or children who are experiencing learning or living difficulties due to developmental characteristics, or a loss of opportunity because of financial circumstances. These facilities provide children with meals, help them develop good study and living habits, and provide them with opportunities for various life experiences. The facilities also cooperate with schools and professional organizations to serve as a hub for the local community. The program aims to complete two Children’s 3rd Places, one each in the Kanto and Kansai areas, by September 2022.

  • 1. Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare: 2017 “Awareness Survey on Medical Care in the Final Stage of Life”
  • 2. Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare: “2019 National Life Basic Survey”
  • 3. The Nippon Foundation, Mitsubishi UFJ Research & Consulting K.K.: “Investigation of the impact of COVID-19 on educational disparity”

About MetLife Insurance K.K.

MetLife Japan started operations in 1973 as the first foreign life insurance company in Japan and currently operates as a Japanese corporation and an affiliate of MetLife, Inc., a leading global financial services company that aims to help people become more self-reliant and able to pursue more from life. MetLife Japan provides a broad, innovative range of products through diverse distribution channels to individual and institutional customers. 

About MetLife Foundation

MetLife Foundation believes that financial health belongs to everyone. The foundation brings together bold solutions, deep financial expertise and meaningful grants to build financial health for people and communities that are underserved and aspire for more. In partnership with organizations around the world to create financial health solutions and build stronger communities, MetLife employee volunteers help to drive impact. MetLife Foundation’s financial health work has reached 9.9 million low-income individuals in 42 countries to date. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit https://www.metlife.com/sustainability/MetLife-sustainability/MetLife-Foundation/ (external site)

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Public Relations Team
The Nippon Foundation

  • Email:cc@ps.nippon-foundation.or.jp