JSTAR project researchers aimed to construct a world-class longitudinal dataset on middle-aged and elderly Japanese persons to enable researchers worldwide to perform scientific investigation on aging and retirement from an international perspective. Despite the rapid aging of the Japanese population, no statistical survey that could properly capture the diversity of the elderly population from various viewpoints had been carried out in Japan until recently. RIETI, Hitotsubashi University jointly launched a comprehensive survey of elderly people in 2007 to collect panel data on their lives and health, with the University of Tokyo joining from 2009 onward.
The 2009 JSTAR survey includes a follow-up survey of the respondents to the 2007 survey and an initial survey of elderly people in two additional municipalities, i.e., Tosu in Saga Prefecture and Naha in Okinawa Prefecture, whereas the 2011 JSTAR Survey includes follow-up surveys of the respondents to the 2007 and 2009 surveys plus an initial survey of elderly people in three additional municipalities, Tondabayashi, Chofu, and Hiroshima