chapter
50 Pages

PRIVATE SECTOR INITIATIVES

In Japan, the conventional welfare state system has been in trouble as the national finance has come to a crisis point under prolonged recession and rapid population aging. Building a new optimal welfare mix system is one of the major challenges facing Japan in the early 21st century and will require the cooperation of national and local governments, private enterprises, non-profit organizations, individuals, and families. Against this background, a consumer cooperative association named the Seikatsu Club Seikyo Kanagawa (Life Club Cooperative Association in Kanagawa Prefecture established in 1971, henceforth SCSK) and its group organizations have developed innovative activities. SCSK aims to establish a total life support system in the neighborhood community through active participation of citizens. A previous article already outlined the activities of the SCSK group with special reference to a unique nursing home named the Rapport Fujisawa (Oka, 2000a).