Happy Old Folks' Day!
年寄りの日 Toshiyori no Hi is what they used to refer to today in 1951. Then 40 years ago it became a National Holiday and renamed Respect for the Aged Day or 敬老の日 (Keirō no Hi). This is a day to do pretty much what the name says, Respect the Aged.
The population of those 65 and over as of April 1, 1997 was 19.44 million, according, representing 15.4% of the total population. This means that one out of every six and a half persons is 65 or above. Japan's fertility rate is dwindling, and so by 2010, every fifth person in Japan could be 65 or over.
That's a heck of a lot of people that you need to respect.
Perhaps Canada should develop such a day, so that at least once a year elders won't receive disrespect.