Previoues Entries

Previoues Entries

General Sessions(abstract) (SSSP 128th Biannual Conference)


1 Children and Family

1.An Influence of Self-help Groups of Single-mother Families on the Political Process in Japan –In the case of Welfare Reform in 2000s

  Sae OKURA(Graduate Student, University of Tsukuba)

This paper describes the conditions in which self-help groups of single-mother families are able to influence politics effectively in Japan. Especially, the paper focuses on three main groups (Zenkoku boshi kafu Fukushidantai kyogikai, Single mothers forum, Wink) as cases, and compares the political processes of (a)the case of 2002, in which the groups “failed” to prevent cuts in welfare, and (b)the case of 2008, in which they successfully prevented the reduction of  the child-rearing allowance. The comparison reveals that the stance of the biggest self-help group (zenboshikyo) affected the results. The power is based on the resources, especially networking among parties. Zenboshikyo, when has a have strong network among the ruling parties, has more influence, and others, which have networks mainly among the opposition parties, have only limited influence. Specifically, a main factor that led to the prevention of welfare cuts in 2008 is that Zennboshikyo, who did not request big amendments in 2002, lobbied the ministry and the government through the LDP (Boshi kafu fukushi taisaku giin renmei).


2.Germany’s new family policy and the “Mehrgenerationenhaus” project

Yurina UEDA(Graduate Student, Doshisha University)

In Germany, the significance of the attempt to support the family and individuals by all factions of society including geographical regions, companies, and nonprofit organizations has been recognized. This has been acknowledged in the “sustainable family politics” of “The Seventh Family Report, 2006,” which deals with the diversification of families and changes in roles. The necessity of a “family-friendly society” has also been highlighted, and progress has been made toward the achievement of this.

In this report, in response to these policies, I primarily discuss activities related to “Mehrgenerationenhäuser” that have been supported since 2007 by the Federal Ministry of Family and European Social Fund. These activities aim to promote a multigenerational interchange that is difficult to attain in nuclear families, various comprehensive multigenerational services, and the participation of citizens in activities such as housework, childcare, nursing care, and volunteer work. Based on the 2008 governmental report on activities of “Mehrgenerationenhäuser” and my own fieldwork, I clarify the actual status of activities and analyze the challenge and problems facing society concerning participation and feelings of solidarity.


3.Child well-being in rich countries-UNICEF Innocenti Report Card11: Comparing Japan

Junko TAKEZAWA(National Institute of Population and Social Security Research)

UNICEF Office of Research has published Report Card series since 2000, focusing on the well-being of children in industrialized countries. Each Report Card includes a league table ranking the countries of the OECD.

In the original report(UNICEF Innocenti Report Card 11, April 2013), Japan was not included in the league table of child well-being because data on a number of indicators were missing.

Using national data sources from Japan and matching it carefully with the data used in the original Report Card 11, Aya Abe (IPSS) and Junko Takezawa (IPSS) managed this report to include Japan in the league table and subsequent ranking in each of five dimensions in order to assess Japan’s performance in child well-being among developed countries.

Japan’s overall ranking is 6th among the 31 countries. ‘Education’ and ‘Behaviors and risks’ dimensions are ranking 1st, but ‘Material well-being’ is ranking in the bottom third of countries. Japan’s poor performance in ‘Material well-being’ is puzzling given the excellent performance in ‘Education’ and ‘Behaviors and risks’ dimensions.


2 Labor Market

1.A Self-support Program and Current Status of labor market in South Korea   -Focusing on nursing worker training program

Yuki TOMOOKA(Graduate Student, Ewha Womans University)

Since the economic crisis in 1998, the expanded government’s policy on poverty in Korea has been focusing on protecting the elderly or the disabled who have no ability to support themselves, as well as helping people in the low income group who has difficult time in exiting from poverty. It is so-called Self-Support Program that aims for workfare scheme.

The Self-Support Program started in 2000 when the National Basic Livelihood Security Act was enforced. The goal of Self-Support Program is to give empowerment to low income group by offering education and work training. The program provides work opportunity for those on low incomes by connecting with government employment projects or social enterprise programs, and offers a variety of services that helps them become economically self-sufficient. However, evaluating the effectiveness of policy shows inclination toward one-sided evaluation, such as the number of job creation or exit rate from assistance. Thus, inadequacy of policy evaluation has been pointed out.

In this paper, I focus on the nursing worker’s training program that is one of the core training program in Self-Support Program. I analyze the working conditions of nursing workers with long working time and low wage in the informal sector, and make a comparison about the labor environment between workers from normal labor market and policy-supported workers. Finally, I consider the problems and results of the Self-Support Program in Korea.


2.To what extent is the occupational labor market of professionals formed?: comparing skill formation of IT engineers, scientific researcher and medical professional

Takeshi NISHIMURA(Graduate Student, Kyoto University)

Because the use of human resources out of enterprises tends to increase, it is said that occupational labor markets, especially of professionals, should be adjusted. The index that measures how occupational labor markets are formed is consisted of three parts: mobility in labor markets, horizontal wage system across enterprises and qualifying system of occupational knowledge and skill. By combining these three factors successfully, occupational labor markets of professionals will be achieved. Of these three factors, in this presentation we focus on analyzing how occupational qualifying systems are introduced and evaluate whether these systems are serving as main actors in workers’ occupational skill formation. In addition, we are going to compare the result with workers’ feeling how their skill can be used across enterprises.


3 Social Solidarity and Social Inclusion

1.Spatiotemporal Articulation as Foundations for Social Solidarity

Satoshi TAKAHASHI(Iwate Prefectural University)

Approaches that aim to create foundations for social solidarity are typically based on either the commonalities among constituent members or the benefits accruing from such solidarity. These requirements, however, are difficult to achieve because social solidarity is inherently an exercise in “cooperation premised on differences.” Some form of equilibrium is necessary to structure institutions based on subjective agreement, but social policy and the welfare state must be premised on differences in temporal and spatial positions.

We define the above idea as “spatiotemporal articulation” and present a systematic discussion of the various types of policies that further this idea. “Articulation” in this context refers not to eliminating distance, but to bridging Institutional differences.

We broadly categorize spatiotemporal articulation into microarticulations and macroarticulations. We argue that microarticulations can be systematized from the perspective of stock-oriented policies and investments in human capital and social capital, and that macroarticulations can be systematized from the perspective of policies designed to reconstruct social contracts. We also touch on an overall vision for establishing policies that encompass both of these areas.


2.Social Inclusion for Immigrants and Refugees through Microfinance

Takashi KOSEKI(Meiji University)

This report aims to clarify the role of social inclusion for immigrants and refugees that microfinance plays in the US.The author conducted interviews with microfinance institutions (MFIs) program officers in New York and Washington, D.C.

Racial minorities have disadvantage in educational attainment and employment (NCRC, 2004; Robb et al., 2009; Rubin, 2011). However, not only race but also immigration status can affect the extent of social exclusion.  Immigrants and refugees who recently came to a new country are not likely to have sufficient literacy on legal regulation and financial system.

MFIs provide loans, savings, financial literacy education, English language and business support to help them become economically independent (FIELD, 2012). MFI sector has grown from 1990s in the US under Clinton Administration (Bhatt et al., 2002). MFIs play key roles of social inclusion for immigrants and refugees in the US.


3.South Korean Social Enterprise: Change of Meaning or Extension of the Domain?―Emergence of a New Social Enterprise Policy―

  Hong Sungwook(Graduate Student, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)

Social Enterprise (SE) Promotion Act in South Korea is the policy that prioritized job security rather than social security and the intent of the act has been widely accepted by the Korean society. However, it has been continuously criticized because there were weaknesses of top-down approach, i.e. the act regularized certification requirements and business types. Therefore, there are demands for a debate on the concept of ‘social economy’ as a broader sense.

‘Social Economy Research Forum (SERF)’ which consists of the members of Korean National Assembly proposed ‘Special Law of Purchase Promotion and Market Support for Social Economy Enterprise’ in December 2013. This proposal paid attention on the debate for the wider meaning of social economy, while it concentrated to make preferential purchasing of public institutions sound functioning by designating ‘Social Economy Enterprise (SEE)’ that includes co-operatives and self-sufficiency businesses, etc.

This research will analyze 1) what changes the policy debate of SEE have brought for the concept of SE and 2) how the changes have defined the realm of ‘Social Economy’ through interviews with policy makers and hands-on staffs.


4 Labor Movement and History

1.NGG(the German Food, Beverages and Catering Union) and Minimum Wage Regulation

Takuya IWASA(Kobe University)

Germany has no statutory minimum wage (its introduction is planned from 2015). This is a result of contribution of collective bargaining agreement regarding minimum wage regulation. But with low-wage sector increasing in Germany since the 1990s, demand to introduce statutory minimum wage has become stronger. NGG has played leading role in promoting it. These trends show a change of function of German collective bargaining system and trade unions are also required to change.

First, this paper analyses low-wage work and industrial relations in sector of hotel, restaurant and catering and sector of meat industry. NGG is competent to both sections. Second, this paper analyses concrete development of movement which demands statutory minimum wage. Finally, it analyses tensions between such movement and collective bargaining of NGG.


2.Labor Oral History Archive Project – A focus on making film records and the availability of documents

Osamu UMEZAKI(Hosei University)

This paper discusses various ways of saving and making accessible oral history records based on our practical experience in this area. Throughout the field of historical research, many researchers have adopted oral history techniques in recent years. In some countries, principally the US and the UK, oral history centers have gathered a large volume of records that had previously been held by individuals. These records are maintained for the future and are made accessible to both researchers and the interested public upon request. The situation is very different in Japan, where the archiving of records is has not progressed and where records are still held and maintained by individual researchers. This paper outlines the issues we have encountered whilst working on the oral history archive project in collaboration with the L-library in Osaka. In particular we look at the importance for researchers of film recording of interviews and the challenges that come with this technique. Finally, we discuss the potential effects on labor researchers and labor education of maintaining oral history records in the same location as written documents. The purpose of this paper is to explore both our experience of creating the oral history archive and the research possibilities it might offer.



5 Care and Medical Treatment

1.”The Appropriate use of drug “ in the drug policy after 1992

 Kazuko AKAGI(Graduate Student, Hitotsubashi University)

The appropriate use of drug has been recommended in the final report of the “Council of the way of drug in the 21st century”,  which were held between October 1992 to May 1993 by Ministry of Health and Welfare.

The following can be considered as the background:

Increase of medicines which have strong pharmacological activity and complicated usages, by the advancement of technology development. Accompanying aging societies, people visit plural departments of hospitals, they have complication diagnosis and they take plural kind of medicines. Furthermore, people interest increase in quality of medical care.

It is not clear what is appropriate, however. Appropriate use of drug can mean proper amount, proper using, proper quality of medicine, the fair distribution for the people, or appropriate information.

In this paper, based on them, I analyzed by policy-historical approach about that the idea of this appropriate had given what effect on and perception in the policy since 1992. I also want to consider the relationship between the rational use of drugs that was proposed by the WHO. I want to clarify the issues and meanings of using appropriate medicaments for protecting the health of the people.


2.Non Profit Organization’s Strategies on the Original Home Help Services

Sumika YAMANE(Yamagata University)

The original home help services by the NPOs have drawn attention as the services which meet the needs of elderly outsides of Long-Term Care Insurance rubric, while the government has gradually reduced the amount of the home help service for each user. This paper investigates NPO’s practice about their original services and the position of the NPOs in the care service market, based on the analysis of the data from 12 in-depth interviews with care workers and a questionnaire survey of 34 NPOs. Findings are Follows: First the care workers are content with the work on the original services since they can have good relationship with the service users. Second, they regard original services as “care assistances for independent,” not as the services which is suited for woman who play it by ear, therefore they approve the policy to deliver homogeneous quality of service among the care workers and to limit the service contents. Third, they negotiate with the care managers of the local area who want to use the NPO’s original services at a low price. NPOs have changed the contents and the meaning of the original services to balance the ideal of “need-centered” and the business management.


3.The process and problems of long-term care benefits complicated

Takashi MIHARA(The Tokyo Foundation)・Atsuaki GUNJI(The Tokyo Foundation)

The Japanese Long-term Care Insurance System adopts basically itemized fee-for-service payment system. The number of items and the logic are consistently increasing the complexity in every revision of the system. The number of items was 1760 at the outset of the system but that in 2012 marked up to 20,929. The reason of this will be well explained by the conflict model proposed as the theory for understanding the system of the industrial relation. The government (MHL) who is placed under the pressure (input) from the organizations of the industry towards increasing economic reward and others towards decreasing the security cost and so forth, tries to solve the conflict by forging new rules (output).

If this trend is inevitable, it entails that the citizen will face more and more difficulty to understand the system and participate the democratic process to improve the system that is closely related to their daily life. This will bring about a blight of democracy of this country.


 Welfare States

1.Socio-economic issues in Hong Kong: current situation of ‘positive non-interventionism’

Katsuhide ISA(Seinan Gakuin University)

This paper introduces and investigates socio-economic issues in Hong Kong, based on its recent situations. Hong Kong is well Known for its ‘free economy’ policy and it is legally guaranteed Hong Kong can keep its autonomy as a free economy city for 50 years after the handover, including the retention of socio-economic institutions inherited from the era of British rules. Because Hong Kong has sticked to the principle of ‘positive non-interventionism’ for long periods, legal institutions for worker protection and social security have not been well developed. Consequently, economic inequality in Hong Kong, for example, has been at a high level. On the other hand, Hong Kong has seen rapid population aging like other advanced nations and regions. That has caused the number of the needy elderly to increase, which has become a serious social issue and forced Hong Kong government to modify its ‘free economy’ ideology gradually. Given these trends, this paper aims to clarify the socio-economic characteristics and their future visions of Hong Kong through comparison with other nations and regions, especially mainland China.


2.Sovereign Debt Crises and Social Spending – How did European Countries Cope with the Crises?

Yoshinori ITO(Hitotsubashi University)

In European countries, budget deficits soared in 2009 due to the global recession triggered by the 2008 financial crisis. In particular, Greece, Portugal, and some countries plunged into sovereign debt crises and received bailouts by the EU and IMF. In this situation, as a result of austerity measures taken for deficit reduction, the ratio of social spending to GDP decreased in most EU countries. However, the details and extent of suppression differed across countries; further, some of the austerity measures are not temporary. It is presumed that besides the unique financial conditions in each country, the structure of the welfare system, political situation, and other factors too yielded these differences. This study explores the possibility that the crises affected the characteristics of welfare states, by comparatively analysing post-crises changes in social spending and their backgrounds in EU countries, hoping to derive implications on coping with such crises.