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 8: Have Japanese social welfare NPOs failed? Emerging social enterprises and major transformation

Masanari Sakurai


The increasing number of ‘trading non-profit organizations (NPOs) _ which means that NPOs rely on much of their resources on sales of services and products and business outsourcing income _ has led to criticism by academics in Japan. Some have criticized the commercialization of NPOs, other authors have claimed that social enterprises in Japan may have reduced their capacity to mobilize volunteers or social capital within civil society. Examining the case of elder care, or the public long-term care insurance system for the elderly in Japan, this chapter aims to identify gaps in behaviour between non-profit and for-profit providers from the perspective of service quality and cream skimming. This chapter also highlights the role of NPOs in the recovery after the Great East Japan Earthquake (the ‘3.11 Quake’) to examine the possibility that NPOs have suffered from a diminished capacity to mobilize volunteers and donations. The reported survey found that non-profit corporations in Japan are not commercialized.

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