S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Development and Society Vol.42 No.1/2 (2013)
Change of Attitudes towards Social Policy in Japan in the First Decade of the Twentieth Century: Neoliberalism or Welfare State?
- Takegawa, Shogo
- Issue Date
- Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
- Development and Society, Vol.42 No.2, pp. 263-286
- Social Policy; Welfare State; Neoliberalism; High Cost; High Benefit; Low Cost; Low Benefit
- This paper is a translation of chapter 1 in Attitudes toward Welfare in the Stratified Society of Japan, edited by Shogo Takegawa and Sawako Shirahase.
- The aim of this paper is to clarify the change of social consciousness concerning neoliberalism and the welfare state in Japan in the 2000s. In the first half of the decade, the influence of neoliberalism grew in the field of economic and social policy. Unlike the first half, however, the second half of the 2000s showed slightly different situations: Neoliberalism started to become less influential. This paper discusses the change of social consciousness as the background to the policy changes witnessed in the first half and second half, respectively, of the 2000s. Orientation toward small government (low cost) was high in the first half and remained low in the second half of the decade. In contrast, orientation toward a welfare state (high benefit) approach grew stronger both in the first half and the second half of the decade. Contrary to what is generally believed, the proportion of people who thought highly of initiatives by the public sector gained a majority also in the first half of the 2000s. People who placed importance on initiatives by the private sector increased in the second half of the decade. However, it is reasonable to think that the increase is not because of privatization but rather because of the emergence of the NPOs, NGOs, and social enterprises. However, public opinion was divided into two camps: need principle/universalism and contribution principle/selectivism.