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"The Future of the Public Assistance Reform in Japan: Workfare vs. Basic Income?,"

Hayato Kobayashi@2014/10/09
"The Future of the Public Assistance Reform in Japan: Workfare vs. Basic Income?,"
Yannick Vanderborght and Toru Yamamori eds., Basic Income in Japan: Prospects for A Radical Idea in A Transforming Welfare State, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 83-99.

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Basic Income in Japan: Prospects for A Radical Idea in A Transforming Welfare State


[Contents]
Introduction
1. Welfare state reform and workfare policies
2. Public assistance reform in Japan
2-1. Outline and situation of public assistance in Japan
2-2. Debates on public assistance in Japan
3. Local governments' proposals for public assistance reform
3-1. Workfare proposals by local governments
3-2. Basic income proposed by Ishin no Kai
4. Conclusion
References



[Introduction]

The purpose of this chapter is to analyze the future of the public assistance system in Japan by focusing on recent debates about its reform through the lens of political discourse analysis, and to discuss the potential of an unconditional basic income (BI). Section 1 offers a general overview of recent welfare reforms aimed at promoting workfare, using a few examples from the United States that have inspired Japanese policies. In section 2, I outline and describe attempts at public assistance reforms in Japan, and analyze the recent debates about these proposals at national level. In section 3, I examine proposals for public assistance reform by prefectural or municipal governments, especially a proposal by the mayor of Osaka City, in the context of the devolution of public assistance administration. In the conclusion, I argue that future public assistance reform in Japan will likely be based on workfare; however, I suggest that the government must increase the take up rate to twice or three times its present level in order to guarantee the right of subsistence.



[References]

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