9/29/11 (AEIN) Medical expenses have reached a record high in Japan. Increasing by more than three percent over the previous year, the per capita healthcare expense has risen to the equivalent of $3,668 dollars, Radio Japan reported on Thursday.
The Asian country's health costs also broke records during the previous two years. The rising average age of the Japanese population and increasing use of sophisticated, expensive medical treatments have helped to boost such expenses in recent times.
Bloomberg reported earlier in September that the Health Minister of Japan called for more taxes to discourage the use of cigarettes. She warned that smoking costs the country a yearly sum of approximately 4.3 trillion yen in medical and economic costs.
Statistics compiled by the OECD in 2009 showed that Japan's per-person medical expenses were moderately high, but lower than those of several countries in Western Europe. Health costs remain highest in the U.S., where per capita costs are more than double those of Japan.