Inter-generational Equity and Social Solidarity: Japan’s Search for an Integrated Policy on Ageing
This chapter analyses how social policies for older people have been reformed in Japan; and how the reforms are scheduled to be carried out. Discussion of ageing in Japan relates mainly to debates about intergenerational equity and social solidarity. The chapter emphasizes how ageing policy reforms have had to be coordinated with other policy areas. It discusses whether welfare provision for older people can be replaced by ways other than state provision. The chapter addresses the policy implications of the Japanese experience for the EU member states. The government will have to cope with the tremendous costs of social protection caused by population ageing. Ageing populations in industrial and transition countries have provoked heated debate about pension reform – in particular, about the desirability of abandoning pay-as-you-go schemes in favour of private, funded pensions. The provision of welfare is the product of four sectors and their combinations: the informal sector; the statutory sector; the private sector; and the voluntary sector.