Globalizing Welfare
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Globalizing Welfare

An Evolving Asian-European Dialogue

Edited by Stein Kuhnle, Per Selle and Sven E.O. Hort

From the welfare state’s origins in Europe, the idea of human welfare being organized through a civilized, institutionalized and uncorrupt state has caught the imagination of social activists and policy-makers around the world. This is particularly influential where rapid social development is taking place amidst growing social and gender inequality. This book reflects on the growing academic and political interest in global social policy and ‘globalizing welfare’, and pays particular attention to developments in Northern European and North-East Asian countries.
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Chapter 6: Japan as a developmental state: the need for a new approach

Masato Kamikubo


Japan’s ‘developmental state’ differs from Esping-Andersen’s three types of welfare regimes. However, it was dismantled in the 1990s. In Japan, social inequality increased dramatically. In 2009, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) was the first Japanese government to implement welfarist policies. But the DPJ administration faced revenue shortages. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) returned to power in 2012. In order to respond to the need for new welfare and social security policies, the Abe administration launched policies such as countermeasures for children on nursery school waiting lists, work style reform and free education. However, those policies are only halfway to enactment due to the increasing influence of conservatives among the LDP supporters. There is a widespread desire in Japan for the emergence of political parties that can implement welfare and social security policy, while at the same time competently managing fiscal reconstruction.

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