In rapidly aging Japan, being dead should be a big business but there are a lot of “buts”…
Grave times for Japan tombstone trade
Reuters / September 14, 2014
…The number of deaths each year is expected to increase by 30 percent over the next quarter century.
But more Japanese are choosing to have their ashes scattered at sea or planted under a tree, as these options are cheaper than a gravestone, which is usually the last big splurge for many people at a time of intense caution over the economy.
About 40 per cent of Japanese already have a spot waiting in an ancestral grave, a survey by a tombstone industry group shows, limiting the scope for potential sales.
At the same time, a fifth or more of Japanese would consider alternative, natural burials. Price is one concern.
But for older people, another, larger concern is that with few or no descendants to visit their graves…more...