Japanese dystopian euthanasia film “Plan 75” 

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Jurgen Hecker wrote a film review of the Japanese dystopian euthanasia film “Plan 75” that was published by Japan Today on May 22. “Plan 75” reportedly shook audiences to the core at the Cannes film festival.

“Plan 75” responds to the aging demographic of Japan with a dystopian vision of a government program that would encourage people to die by euthanasia at the age of 75. Hecker wrote:

In the movie, anybody over 75 is encouraged to sign up for a deal with the government by which they receive a sum of money in return for agreeing to be euthanised. A collective funeral is thrown in for free.

Japan is the most rapidly aging population in the world. Japanese director and writer Chie Hayakawa stated:

On the face of it, the government’s Plan 75 is full of goodwill and friendliness and pragmatism, but in truth it is both very cruel and shameful.”

“I wanted the images to be aesthetic and beautiful, as well as cold and cruel, just like the plan itself.”

Hayakawa’s first full-length feature film is full of slow sequences with minimal camera movement. Hayakawa said

“If such a plan was on the table today, I believe that many people would accept it, even welcome it as a viable solution.”

“Most young people worry already what the end of their life will look like. Will their basic needs be met? Can they survive once they live alone? Can they afford to age?”

“What worries me a lot is that we’re in a social reality that would very much favor such a radical solution.”

“It’s scary.”

The Netherlands has been debating the concept of “completed life” for several years, whereby a person who is 75 could die by euthanasia. 

The Netherlands Council of State published a report from December 2020, explaining why they rejected a “completed life” bill that was sponsored by the D66 MP Pia Dijkstra.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg‘s blog and is reposted with permission.