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Funeral changes in Japan

Imagine what would happen if Costco or Walmart took over the funeral industry.

In Japan, where the average funeral costs about $37,000, Aeon Corp., one of the country's biggest retailers, is advertising funeral packages that decrease costs to $3,000 to $11,000 through bulk purchases of funeral-related items.

Some say options are needed in Japan during an economic downturn, when 23 percent of the population is over the age of 65. Others worry it could edge out the role of Buddhist temples.


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December issue

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