The panel focus is the social consequences of market-oriented structural reforms the social protection system: covering the agricultural protection system guaranteeing income and livelihoods in rural Japan, the long-term care system, and the male breadwinner centered corporate welfare system.
The panel aims to assess two decades of structural reforms to initiate a stronger market mix in social welfare within three main institutions of the Japanese social protection system - agricultural protection, familial care for the elderly and the male breadwinner orientation of corporate welfare. The three papers, each based on original empirical research, focus on the impact of liberal reforms on these three central social institutions. The study of village institutions questions whether the declining role of JA has meant a decline in village institutions overall in governing market-based reforms. The study of elderly care explores the positive role played by paid market services for enhancing the autonomy of elderly in need of care. Finally, a study of men in non-regular work analyzes the extent to which this is a choice and the consequences thereof for men's family lives. The research in these papers show that there is little evidence of fundamental displacement of the village, the family or the employment system in Japan's social protection system, but fundamental transformations within each of these institutions, with the result being a new mix of market-based protections. Bringing these papers together in one panel will enable the authors to explore differences in the market-based transformations across these institutions. We expect that the weight of market-based protections against social risks has become most significant in the employment system, while communities and cooperatives at the local level play a stronger role in village and family transformations. The panel will be organized to maximize discussion time to allow the authors to collectively consider the links between these institutions and their impact for sustaining relative social integration and security in Japan.