Program of symposium sessions

Table of Contents

  1. Tepco Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Workers and the Fight to Contain the Disaster
  2. Social policy on the employment of people with disabilities
  3. Care Regime Analysis in East Asia
  4. Industrial Relations and Unionism in Key Private Industries
  5. Comparative Analysis of Changing Family Policies under Globalization: the Cases of the Netherlands, France and Germany
  6. Current research on the history of labor:Andrew Gordon (Translator: Kazuo Nimura), The Evolution of Labor Relations in Japan, 1853-2010
  7. Reflections on Emiko Takenaka's Theory(1): Perspectives on the Feminist Analysis of Labour
  8. Local variations in health systems: policy making at national and local levels

1. Tepco Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Workers and the Fight to Contain the Disaster

Coordinator: Hirohiko TAKASU
Research and Education Center for Fair labor, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Hitotsubashi University, Project Director

Debater: Masuro SUGAI
Faculty of Economics, Kokugakuin University, Professor

   Two years have passed since the Tepco Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant disaster that occurred immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake, yet the disaster has yet to be contained. Workers involved in the struggle to gain control over the damaged reactors are brought in naturally from Fukushima but also from areas around the country. They work under a pyramid of multiple levels of subcontractor. There are many problems with this work, including fraudulent outsourcing relationships, kickbacks to subcontracting firms, low wages considering the difficulty of the work, insufficient safety training, the dangers of forced exposure to high levels of radiation, as well as slipshod exposure and health management. It is likely to become difficult to secure the needed workers.

   This breakout session will determine what is needed to resolve the problems and what policy challenges we face by focusing on the circumstances and challenges faced by the workers struggling to contain the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant disaster.

   The two who will give their reports are both non-members but were invited because we currently have no members conducting investigative research on this topic. Masayuki Ikeza approached the workers over several months during production of an NHK program and asked about their working conditions and thoughts. Katsuyasu Iida is a specialist who has worked on workplace sanitation and safety over many years and has been tackling the issue of worker radiation exposure. After their reports, let's discuss the previously mentioned issues.

1. Interviews and research shed light on the reality and thoughts of nuclear power plant workers

Masayuki IKEZA
Program Production Department, NHK, Director

   After the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster in March 2011, workers struggling to regain control of the reactors were lauded by foreign media as the "Faceless Fifty." Indeed, chances to see their faces were few and far between. Nearly all worked on the bottom rungs of Tepco's ladder of multiple subcontracting firms. Even after the accident, their personal income depended on work at the plant.

   This reporter obtained the help of two subcontracting firms and conducted nearly constant interviews and research over several months for the NHK/ETV special feature on nuclear power plant workers broadcast Aug. 19, 2011. What I learned was that many subcontractors were divvying up work with radiation exposure that at times reached close to 2mSv per day. Subcontractors and workers alike face terrible anxiety since there is no social security system for workers once they are exposed to the legal five-year maximum of 100mSv. I will mix in actual video used on the program as I report what approach I tried with on-site workers during the interview process and what obstacles I ran into when conveying their workplace reality.

2. Radiation exposure and safety issues for Tepco Fukushima Daiichi workers

Katsuyasu IIDA
Tokyo Occupational Safety & Health Center, Secretary-general  

   The March 11 Tepco Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster blew to smithereens the myth of nuclear power safety. After a nuclear power emergency was declared, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare took special legal measures to raise the maximum level of ionizing radiation to which emergency workers could be exposed from 100mSv to 250mSv. As a result, some 20,000 emergency workers mobilized by Tepco and cooperating firms were exposed to slipshod radiation management. During the year through March 31, 2012, Fukushima Daiichi workers were exposed to triple the radiation of nuclear power plant workers during a normal year.

   Some have said that nuclear power plant labor was hidden in shadows. In fact, authorities have recognized radiation as the cause of 11 workplace accidents. Our challenge is whether we can use this disaster as a chance to delve deep into the shadows of nuclear power plant labor.

   In this report, I will examine first of all the changes to radiation exposure ceilings for nuclear power plant workers and secondly the exposure management and safety measures taken for workers dealing with the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi. Finally, I will consider what measures will be required, from the perspective that we have no prospect of containing the current disaster or decommissioning nuclear power plants without securing the health, safety and rights of plant workers.

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2. Social policy on the employment of people with disabilities

Coordinator: OGIHARA Koichi
Japan Welfare Education College, lecturer

Chair: KAMIKAKE Toshihiro
Kyoto Prefectural University, professor

   In Japan, there are two types of employment for persons with disabilities. They are Open Labour, in which they work in corporations, and Welfare Work, in which they work in sheltered workshops. At the former, the lack of employment and the quality of the work have become an issue. On the other hand, the latter is considered to have a wide meaning of work such as a purpose of life and human development. However, it does not apply to the Labor Standards Act, which ensure the minimum wage, thus this has been questioned whether or not it's worth work at ILO.

   Under these problems, we would like to analyze the actual state of Open Labour and sort out the problems we have in Japanese Employment Measures for Persons with Disabilities today. Secondly, we would like to deal with Working at Home Employment for Handicapped People Support System, which has drawn attention as a working place in the region, and consider the weakness the worker may have due to the issues with the system and the contract relationship. Lastly, we would like to address Social Employment, which falls between Open Labour and Welfare Work. This means it has a social aspect like Welfare Work has and is also aimed to ensure the minimum wage of Labor Standards Act.

   This sectional committee combines the Research Section of Atypical Work and Research Section of Synthetical Studies of Welfare Society. We would like to examine the issues of labor policy and welfare policy to secure the place of work for handicapped people and to ensure enough wages for a living.

1. Employment Policy for Disabled People: Current Issues and Future Prospects

Prefectural University of Hiroshima Faculty of Health and Welfare, associate professor

   Work occupies an important place in human social life. In recent years, many OECD countries have adopted employment policies targeted to facilitate the employment of disabled people. These policies are motivated by a workforce shortage, which is due to an aging population and falling birth rates, as well as the achievements of the human rights movement. Similarly, Japan has been updating its legislation promoting the employment of disabled people. But disabled people in Japan have no guarantee of a right to work, which does not reflect the achievements of the human rights movement. An affluent, mature society should guarantee the right to work for all disabled people and utilize their diverse human resources. The current Japanese policy must be fundamentally reformed to aim at an affluent and mature society. One specific requirement is to define disabilities in relationship to their effect upon work and thereby develop environments for disabled people that allow them to exercise their abilities. Another requirement is to develop a variety of systems that are appropriate for each ability. A third requirement is to create systems in the entire society that support the employment of disabled people.This report examines current employment policy to shed light on the fundamental problems in Japan's employment policy for disabled people, and then proposes a new employment system for disabled people.

2. The actual condition and the problem of a home employment disabled person support system

TAKANO Tsuyoshi
Hiroshima International University Faculty of Health and Welfare, lecturer

   By revision of the Law Concerning Employment Promotion for Disabled Persons, it aged 2006 and the home employment disabled person support system started. Also when private enterprises not only place an order for work of home employment, but place an order with a disabled person for work through a home employment supporting group in this system, are a mechanism in which an exceptional reward and exceptional adjustment money are provided, but there is no merit of a home employment supporting group, and the provision number of an exceptional reward or exceptional adjustment money is also little actual condition. Although it is to found activation subsidies, such as a home employment supporting group, from 2012, and to be provided to a home employment supporting group, which has an effect in reservation of a disabled person's job opportunity, etc. -- it is in a doubtful situation. So, this report considers the actual condition and the problem of a home employment disabled person support system. 3. The vision and problem of "Social employment" for Persons with Disabilities ISONO Hiroshi Shizuoka welfare and medical specialized collage, lecturer

   The policies of Persons with Disabilities in Japan hold many problems to validate "Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities" published by United Nations, 2007. I think that one of the problems is the vision of "Social employment".

   "Committee for Disability Policy Reform" was organized to shape "Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities" in Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, 2009. And "Sub-committee on Welfare Services" suggested "Framework Recommendation for Comprehensive Welfare

   Law for Persons with Disabilities", 2011. The prescript of work and employment is specified in this Framework Recommendation, B, 3. This prescript emphasizes the necessity for "Social employment". It is Work Center for Persons with Disabilities that shapes "Social employment".

   This report considers the vision and problem to expand "Social employment" for Persons with Disabilities into "Social employment" for all nonpersons excluded from employment. Therefore, I shall present the practice of Shiga prefecture, Minou city, and Sapporo city which such institution has been already established, as well as Italy and Korea. ?

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3. Care Regime Analysis in East Asia

Coordinator: SOMA Naoko
Yokohama National University, Graduate School of International Social Sciences, Associate Professor

Coordinator: LI Lianhua
Shiga University, Faculty of Economics, Associate Professor

Chair: SHEN Jie
Japan Women's University, Faculty of Integrated Arts and Social Sciences, Professor

Debater: TSUJI Yuki
Ritsumeikan University, College of Policy Science, Assistant Professor

   Against the backdrop of changing families, changing women's roles, and a rapidly aging population combined with a low birthrate, the issue of "care" has surfaced as a central issue of social policies in East Asia as well as in other industrialized nations. Who is currently providing care and in what manner is the care being provided to children and the elderly in East Asian societies? Additionally, are the provisions of care characterized by any features unique to East Asia?

   The aim of the session is to clarify the achievements and limits of the recent studies on care regimes in East Asia, based both on theoretical and empirical grounds by taking into account recent research trends. In the first presentation, as a theoretical analysis, concepts of care regime, care diamond, and reproduction regime will be classified, and preceding studies on care regimes in East Asia will be surveyed. In the second presentation, as an empirical analysis, 1) the formation process (path) of care regimes in Japan and Korea, 2) the coalition status of social actors which influence the formation (path), and 3) the features of policy logic will be examined. This examination will be made by taking into account 1) provision-related aspects of preschool child care, early childhood education, and support for child rearing and 2) the results of analyzing policy framing. In the third presentation, re-familialization of care-regimes and family citizenship regimes will be examined by focusing attention on the commonalities among societies such as those in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Korea, which is that immigrant workers and marriage-based immigrants are deeply embedded in the societies' care provision.

1. Care Regime in East Asia: Review of Previous Research

LI Lianhua
Shiga University, Faculty of Economics, Associate Professor

   Compared to the welfare regime or production regime, the term of "care regime" is not widely recognized even in the academic world. Rather, the "care diamond" or "welfare mix" is more frequently employed to analyze the involvement of various providers in care. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the previous research on care regime (or care diamond), particularly on that of East Asia, and to critically examines the findings and problems of these studies. Specifically, this paper composes three sub-objectives as follows. First, it distinguishes the concept of care regime and other related terms. Also, the theoretical relation between the care regime and welfare/production/reproduction regime will be considered. Second, it briefly surveys how the "care" is analyzed in the recent welfare state research. Third, it reviews the main achievement of studies on East Asian care regime, and discusses the problems of comparative method and theoretical challenges.

2. Comparative Care Regime Analysis of Korea and Japan

SOMA Naoko
Yokohama National University, Graduate School of International Social Sciences, Associate Professor

   The purpose of the paper is to indicate characteristics of care regime in Japan and Korea through comparative analysis of care regime between both societies, based on not only the aspect relating to provision but also cognitive aspect of the institution.

   Specifically, (1) changes in provision and finance surrounding childcare and early childhood education in Japan and Korea are overviewed through comparative analysis of the aspect relating to provision and (2) "the explicit family policy" in Korea and "the particularistic and implicit childcare policy "in Japan are indicated from comparison of policy framing, based on which (3) commonalities and differences in the formation process (path) of care regime in both countries as well as the coalition status of social actors, policy logic and cognitive framework (the way in which childcare problems are recognized and problematized in the field of family and childcare matters) that influence the path are reviewed. In conclusion, issues in comparative analysis are indicated based on not only the aspect relating to provision but also cognitive aspect of the institution. 3. Role of immigrants in family care: inclusion/exclusion under familialism and family based citizenship ASATO Wako Kyoto University, Graduate School of Letters, Associate Professor

   Even with the diversity of policy on care provision in the East Asian countries such as Taiwan, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong, one of the key aspects of similarity lies in the existence of foreign workers who supplement care at home and reception of foreign spouses who also provide informal family care through forming a family. This family orientation of care within a few decades is in parallel with (re-)familialization process in care regime. However, those two major providers of care are in contrast regarding citizenship granted by host governments. The former is given very limited citizenship by not allowing them to stay except temporary workers. The latter may be given citizenship if she/he is a good family member. Marriage migrants are also target group of social integration program such as language education or childcare by the government. The program is to integrate them as good family members rather than as individuals into society. This institutional framework incorporating any kind of foreigners who produce family care can be called family based citizenship regime, which characterizes East Asian welfare/immigration regime.

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4. Industrial Relations and Unionism in Key Private Industries

Coordinator: HYODO, Atsushi
School of Economics, Senshu University, Professor

Chair: SUZUKI, Akira
Ohara Institute for Social Research, Hosei University, Professor

   It has been some time since labor studies in Japan shifted their attention away from labor unions in the manufacturing sector. The shift in the scholarly attention reflected the decline of the labor union movement, especially, the declining presence of enterprise unions in such key manufacturing industries such as metal and machine-making. Instead, labor studies began to shift their attention to new trends in the labor movement, such as activities of region-based amalgamated unions and cases of organizing efforts in service and retail industries. The sessions of the research group on labor unions, reflecting this trend, have seldom taken up labor union movements in key manufacturing private-sector industries. We however think it necessary to re-focus our attention to labor unions in the export-oriented manufacturing industries, because firms in these industries are facing severe economic difficulties and have shed a large number of workers, to the extent of causing social problems. Thus, the proposed session examines the state and the prospect of labor unions and industrial relations in the metal and machine-making industries. It consists of two presentations, one focusing on labor unions of large firms dominated by Rengo-affiliated unions, the other focusing on labor unions in SMEs, many of which are not affiliated with Rengo.

1. Changes in the functioning of enterprise unions

SHUTO, Wakana
School of Economics, Rikkyo University, Associate Professor

   In this paper, we investigate changes currently taking place in the functioning of enterprise unions. Using case studies from the manufacturing and retail industries, we examine how workers' duties and requisite skills, and personnel development practices have undergone changes in response to changes in working environments such as widening economic globalization, changes in production systems resulting from "digitization", and increases in numbers of non-regular employees. At the same time, we also show ways in which trade unions have dealt with these changes. Focussing in particular on the trend for the organizing of non-regular employees, we discuss the changes occurring to the traditional functioning of enterprise unions, based on evidence including the campaign policies of the organizing unions and examples of their coordination with national and industrial organizations.

2. On Metal and Machinery Industrial Unionism at Small Business Sector

Japan Research Institute of Labor Movement, Director

   Though in Japan the enterprise union is major formation of organization, we cannot ignore there are industrial organizations as important players in Japanese industrial relations system. Particularly, in small business sector of metal and machinery manufacture, active industrial unionism which has tradition from former Zenkin (National Metalworkers Union) has existed and won some fruit. Even after dissolution of Sohyo (General Council of Trade Unions of Japan) and split of former Zenkin, in this sector we can find industrial unionism, for example JMIU movement. In this presentation, we will investigate industrial unionism in that sector, focusing on activities of JMIU.

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5. Comparative Analysis of Changing Family Policies under Globalization: the Cases of the Netherlands, France and Germany

Coordinator: Uozumi Akiyo
Josai International University, Faculty of International Humanities, Professor

Debater: Fujiwara Chisa
Iwate University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Associate Professor

Debater: Souma Naoko
Yokohama National University, International Graduate School of Social Sciences, Associate Professor

   As a result of ongoing economic globalization and structural changes to the population in various countries, the nature of the welfare regime itself in these countries is undergoing change. In the midst of these changes, where are family policies heading?

   While many of the conventional comparative studies of family policies targeted social democratic Northern Europe and liberal states such as the U.S., the U.K., and Australia, the present studies will focus on France, the Netherlands, and Germany, which are regarded as "conservative," "corporatist," and "family-centered" and are known to possess welfare regime structures similar to that of Japan. These regimes are characterized by their complex welfare systems consisting of existing professional associations and traditional social organizations (families, churches, and community welfare organizations).

   In the context of welfare state reform, the trend of a state's single-parent policies serves as a litmus test for examining reforms to minimum livelihood security systems in Christian democratic states. In the present session, the directions of family policy changes in France, the Netherlands, and Germany will be examined by analyzing the changes in these states' single-parent policies and various cultural and social factors behind these changes.

1. Neo-liberal reform in "family policy" in the Netherlands

Hirose Mariko
Tokai University, School of Humanities and Culture, Professor

    The Christian democratic welfare states of continental Europe exhibit various characteristics, such as preservation of familism, and passive state's intervention into family life based on the principle of subsidiarity. Since the 1990s, however, with the European Union's initiative to develop a work and family life reconciliation policy, the continental European countries have been motivated to follow it. Moreover, the parental leave scheme and child day-care service have been considered more important to help dual-earner parents than traditional familism and a benefit-centred policy based on the male  bread-winner principle.

    In this report, we will examine, from among the continental welfare states, the Netherlands, where the female labour force participation through part-time work has been developing rapidly, and the reconciliation policy has been stressed. We will then consider the extent of influence of the recent Dutch welfare state reform including neo-liberal elements on "family policy" in the country.

2. French family policies supporting women's independency

Funabashi Keiko
Shizuoka University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor

   Since the Cultural Revolution in the late 1960s, the family policy in France has changed its conservative family system where a female relies on a male head of a family and cares for children into a new social system where a single parent can independently work and raise children. Although difficulties for single-parent families have not yet been solved, the family policy in France has put the brakes on expansion of social disparity between the privileged and the deprived by resisting pressure from globalized economic competition.

   I would like to introduce three strategies in France in this report as follows:

   1) Improvement of the child poverty rate after redistribution through family allowances: Family allowances and social benefits supporting single-parent families will be overviewed.

   2) Changing family norms from the perspective of gender equality: The recent history of the changing family laws in France will be overviewed.

   3) Maintenance of the environment where it is possible to work while raising children; provision of childcare system and job opportunity.

   In conclusion, a French association that has been practicing advocacy for single parents will be introduced. 3: Support to single-parent families and issues - based on a case in Germany Uozumi Akiyo Josai International University, Faculty of International Humanities, Professor

   Germany is facing a problem of increased poverty risk while cultivating high industrial competitiveness in an attempt to convert from a generous welfare state through various restructuring of social security and hiring policy. Under such circumstances, what kind of support is provided to single-parent families who particularly suffer from economic problems as well as various difficulties?

   Economic support and employment referral for single-parent families in Germany as well as childcare situations, etc. are overviewed in this report, based on which model of coalition in a wider area of community by local governments, welfare organizations, etc. is explored. In particular, how support to single-parent families is positioned under a "sustainable family policy" by the federal government is reviewed through addressing a case in Munich with a problem of deteriorated housing situation resulting from population concentration.

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6. Current research on the history of labor:Andrew Gordon (Translator: Kazuo Nimura), The Evolution of Labor Relations in Japan, 1853-2010

Coordinator: Enoki Kazue
Hosei University, Associate Professor

Debater: Kazuo Nimura
Hosei University, Professor emeritus

   Studies in relation to the history of labor have lost the momentum they once had. In recent years, however, significant studies have been published. From among these, we analyze and examine the significance of Andrew Gordon's, The Evolution of Labor Relations in Japan: Heavy Industry, 1853-2010 (Translator: Kazuo Nimura), Iwanami Shoten. This book was originally published in 1985 under the title, The Evolution of Labor Relations in Japan: Heavy Industry, 1853-1955. The book's new edition has two additional chapters that include summaries dating back to the 1950s up to recent times, thereby providing a more comprehensive long-term history of labor relations in Japan. In a joint review, we acknowledge the ramifications of this book and explore the themes of historical studies of labor.

   All the presenters are experts well versed with the condition of historical studies of labor. Three presenters first raise issues about the significance and themes of the book, after which Prof. Kazuo Nimura (Translator) will delve deeper in its discussion.

Presenter: Sugayama Shinji
Tohoku Gakuin University, Professor

Presenter: Kaneko Ryoji
Ohara Institute for Social Reserch, Hosei University, Research Fellow

Presenter: Ishizuka Fumiki
Seinan Gakuin University, Associate Professor

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7. Reflections on Emiko Takenaka's Theory(1): Perspectives on the Feminist Analysis of Labour

Coordinator: Fujiwara, Chisa
Iwate University, Associate Professor

Chair: Hattori, Ryoko
Osaka City University, Associate Professor

Debater: Omori, Maki
Waseda University, Professor

   As is well known for member at this conference, postwar feminist analysis of labour began with the work of Emiko Takenaka (honorary member of this association). However, only recently have activities begun to give Takena's theory its rightful place in Japanese labour and social policy research.

   Following the publication of the seven-volume 'Collected works of Takenaka Emiko' (Akashi shoten) in 2011, which was completed in 2012, the gender section has planned a panel, which emphasizes the importance of the commodification of labour force as well as the theory of production and social reproduction in Takenaka's theory. For the perspectives of 21st century feminist analysis of labour, our goal is to concentrate our presentations on Emiko Takena's work.

   The reason why this session has the number 1 is that we are planning successive sessions. We are planning a session that will focus on Emiko Takenaka's own reply to each presentation, ensuing discussion, and comments from the audience.

1. The Reformation through Takenaka's " Women's Labour" Theory

Kuba, Yoshiko
Tokyo Gakugei University, Emeritus Professor

   In this presentation, I want to take four issues. 1. Marxism-Feminism in Japan, 2. The theory of'Commodification of Labour force' and Unpaid work, 3. The theory of Production and Social reproduction of Labour force, and Feminization of Labour force, 4. The other issues.

2. "Takenaka's Theory" and its Social Security Studies

Kita, Akemi
Fukui Prefectural University, Professor

   Takenaka's studies encompass views on and analysis of various fields of social security.

   This contributes to the totality of her theory covering production and social reproduction of labour force.

   Her theory is one of the earliest gender analysis of Japanese social security, which is strongly connected with the theory of "Commodification of Labour Force", Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value and Unpaid Work.

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8. Local variations in health systems: policy making at national and local levels

Coordinator: Ryozo Matsuda
College of Social Sciences, Ritsumeikan University, Professor

Debater: TAKAYAMA Kazuo
Faculty of Contemporary Business, Kyoto Tachibana University, associate professor

1. Current status and Challenges of Community Based- Health Insurance: An analysis on the National Health Insurance

Masateru Nagatomo
Department of Life&Environmental Science, Tsu City College, Associate Professor

   The community-based National Health Insurance (NHI) operated by local governments is a critical component of the universal health insurance system in Japan. Since the 1980s, with decreased subsidies from the national government, local governments have taken such financial measures as increase of premiums, transfer from general budgets to their health insurance accounts, and expansion of premium reduction or exemption for those with low income. The ratio of premiums to household income is seemingly increasing among beneficiaries of the NHI. With this increased financial burdens, particularly those experiencing unemployment and wage decline have become reluctant to use health care to manage the household. Therefore, it seems increasingly necessary to develop policies that consider varied income and health conditions of beneficiaries. With the analysis on current problems that beneficiaries of the NHI face and challenges in policy development by local governments, this paper explores health policy frameworks to address them.

2. Health care system and local markets in San Francisco city/county: Local initiatives under health care system in the United States

Jun Sakurai
School of Nursing and Social Services, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido

   School of Nursing and Social Services, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, lecturer with tenure

   This paper attempts to show that local markets (health service market and health insurance market in each area) are the most crucial determinants of the health care system in the United States. For this attempt it provides a study on the health care system and local market in San Francisco city/county, California, as a progressive model of local based systems. Diverse local markets are formed by local organizations (clinics, hospitals, health insurance companies, NPOs and so on) on the basis of local initiatives. The government sector pays the closest attention to local initiatives with regard to the health care system. Because the health reform during the Obama administration era has been and will be implemented on the premise of existing local markets, actual conditions of local markets must be clarified under the microscope to forecast future outcomes of the reform.

   With a study on the local-based structure of Medicare in San Francisco city/county, this paper analyses an essential nature of the US health care system: local markets as key determinants.

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