In Japan, you can find senior citizens gathering for hours at a time, not at the local Elks Club, but at the local 7-Eleven, Lawson, or another of the country’s 50,000 convenience stores. In addition to buying ready-made food, they might be singing karaoke, participating in a calisthenics class, paying their bills, or simply shooting the breeze in one of their designated lounge areas.

Due to a combination of high life expectancy and low fertility rates, Japan has one of the highest...

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