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East Asian welfare regimes in transitionFrom Confucianism to globalisation$
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Alan Walker and Chack-kie Wong

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9781861345523

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861345523.001.0001

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The welfare regime in Japan

The welfare regime in Japan

(p.117) Six The welfare regime in Japan
East Asian welfare regimes in transition

Makoto Kono

Policy Press

This chapter charts the emergence of the ‘Japanese Type Welfare Society’ and illustrates the twin key characteristics of family-based informal welfare and enterprise welfare. The Japanese state uses traditional family solidarity to legitimate residual welfare provision as that which can be seen in the example of care for older people. Nonetheless, Japanese enterprise welfare is significant but, of course, varies between enterprises and status levels. It too has been used by the Japanese state to legitimate residual public provision. The discussion criticises the industrialisation thesis and argues that insufficient attention has been paid to culture and institutional tradition. It shows how the shift in Japan's political ideology from traditional conservatism to neo-liberalism has resulted in a change in policy goals — from a militaristic and strongly authoritarian state to a pro-market economy and residual welfare system.

Keywords:   informal welfare, enterprise welfare, family solidarity, neo-liberalism, pro-market economy

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