chapter
58 Pages

Social Policy

The Silver Human Resource Centres (SHRC) was first established in 1980 to address the economic and psychological needs of Japan's growing numbers of senior citizens. The Centres, through which people are introduced to jobs in their locales and from which they receive remuneration for services performed, are by now well established throughout Japan. This chapter examines the gap between SHRC members' evaluations of the Centres and the Centre guidelines, as stated in their published literature and in interviews with program administrators. The analysis is fourfold: it explores the members' reasons for participating in the program; it discusses their assessments of it; it examines gender and social class differences in program planning and participation; and it analyzes the Ministry of Labour's plan for new directions for the Centres. Although new policy directions do address many members' concerns, they do not attempt to question or change the status quo of the gendered division of labour in Japanese society.