ON GLOBAL LEVEL
MT will be created as a model town that promotes sustainable development based on the UN Agenda 21 and the UN Millennium/Sustainable Development Goals, as well as international cooperation between government-to-government (G to G), government-to-business (G to B), business-to-business (B to B) and business-to-consumer (B to C). In the realm of bi-lateral relations, MT will be developed to promote and strengthen the relationship between Thailand and Japan, ranging from the governmental, corporate, non-governmental (NGO) levels to the people or grassroots level. Since the town will be developed to accommodate different people from various countries, (80% Japanese, 20% foreigners, including Thai) and provide opportunities for foreign and local investment, it will be a center for an exchange of people, products/services, capital and information, which are the features of a global city.
By inviting Japanese, Thais, and foreigners to live and work together in a town that is located in Thailand, GCD applies international migration mechanisms and theories to make it possible to develop this town. Considering the “push” factors on the Japanese side, there is a high demand among Japanese professional retirees who wish to continue to work after their retirement. GCD provides this group of people the opportunity to apply their expertise to help with the development of Thailand by placing this group of people with Thai public and private organizations as well as with NGOs to work together and learn from each other. Simultaneously, considering the “pull” factors, there are several CSR and sustainable development projects that we can get the retirees involved either as a part-time advisors, coaches, mentors, or volunteers.
Due to remarkable advances in medical technology, people are living longer now than ever before in history. In Japan, the population is “greying” at an alarming rate: by 2020, one in four Japanese citizens will be 65 or older, a trend that will accelerate in the decades beyond. Japan already has the largest ratio of aging people to overall population in the world, and it will maintain and even increase its position in this regard in the future. This puts enormous pressure on the Japanese government, especially on its pension and welfare systems. Many Japanese citizens are compelled to retire at age 60, when they are not psychologically, physically, emotionally or financially prepared to stop being productive members of society. The daunting global demographic challenge of greying can only be solved by completely new and creative solutions—and MT can lead the way globally in this regard.
Other “push” factors include the fact that Japan is now facing an increasing number of severe natural disasters which occur more frequently than in past decades. Also, the high cost of living in comparison to Thailand and lack of suitable jobs after retirement for Japanese professionals fuels their desire to look for part-time employment opportunities outside the country. In addition, expensive housing in Japan forces the retirees to move out of the city to the countryside or suburbs to make it affordable for them to live on pensions, thus making it harder to find a job that matches with their talents and capabilities. Finally, the high cost of nursing home services in Japan, which will become an inevitable cost for most of the retirees as they mature into a sizeable group of senior citizens, is a major concern of this group of people and indirectly forces them to to live with a lower quality of life for fear that their only steady income (pension) will not be enough to cover the cost of nursing care once they become semi-dependent or completely dependent.
As for the “pull” factors in Thailand, MT will provide all conditions that meet with their standard and matches with their lifestyle, can help them improve their quality of life even when they have to live on only their pension, manage activities that they can enjoy, and without the worry about getting high-quality and affordable nursing home services, which we will provide at the Japanese standard. Also, the Thai Government has recently approved a 5-year long stay visa, which greatly facilitates a smooth movement of these pensioners. In addition, Thailand has fewer and less severe natural disasters. The warm weather in Thailand is suitable for elders and the distance of six hours’ travel from Japan to Thailand will make MT a very suitable alternative or second home for these professional retirees.
Cultural and commercial ties between Thailand and Japan have been strong for about 500 years, dating back to the 16th century, when a Japanese town with several thousand inhabitants flourished in the Thai Kingdom of Ayutthaya; its most prominent citizen, Yamada Nagamasa, was appointed governor of a province in Thailand, a remarkable indicator of close Thai-Japanese ties in that distant age.
Today, Japanese and multinational corporations are investing and doing business in Thailand to a remarkable degree—over 60% of all FDI (foreign direct investment) in Thailand is from Japan--and this is expected to increase exponentially with the inauguration of the AEC. These companies urgently need qualified personnel to represent them in Thailand, and relocated Japanese retirees will fill this need, and do so at tremendous cost savings to the corporations. Under these conditions, MT will be an ideal community for active Japanese retirees who want to keep working at their own pace, at jobs they love and are qualified to do. Moreover, these retirees will reap the benefit of their efforts by living in an affordable, extremely desirable, and culturally familiar community. The cost of living in Thailand, especially housing, is dramatically lower than in Japan: between their public pensions and the income they receive from their second jobs, Japanese retirees will be able to live much more comfortably than they could in Japan.
WHY IS GCD DEVELOPING MT?
To provide opportunities for professional retirees who wish to stay active and make social contributions or work part-time after their retirement
To promote foreign investment in Thailand and in the AEC
To provide solutions for “greying” societies and help improving the quality of life for professional retirees both in the developed and developing worlds
To strengthen Japan-Thailand bilateral relations
To promote sustainable development and setting new standards for Thai development
To create a model smart city/green town for Thailand
To encourage an exchange of knowledge/know-how and technological transfer from developed countries to developing ones on every level