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Conference

Individual Responsibility vs. Social Solidarity – Current Economic and Legal Issues Concerning Social Policy in Japan and Germany

Conference Languages: Japanese and English (simultaneous translation provided)

10.09.2002 - 11.09.2002

Koordination: Harald Conrad; ARAI Makoto

Abriss

“A democratic capitalist society will keep searching for better ways of drawing the boundary lines between the domain of rights and the domain of dollars. And it can make progress. To be sure, it will never solve the problem, for the conflict between equality and economic efficiency is inescapable. In that sense, capitalism and democracy are really a most improbable mixture. Maybe that is why they need each other – to put some rationality into equality and some humanity into efficiency.”
(Arthur M. Okun)


In recent years, Japan and Germany have been facing very similar challenges: aging populations, changing family and job structures, and globalization. How have these factors influenced social policies in both countries?
Since the end of the 1980s, there has been a heated debate in comparative social policy on how economic internationalization may cause the convergence of welfare systems. One school of thought argues that competition for capital and markets increases pressures on industrialized countries to adopt low wage strategies; this then leads to a reduction of social benefits and weakening labor standards. According to these observers, social policies in those countries will become increasingly similar. Another school of thought argues that nation states in general are not losing their power to pursue distinguished social policies; these critics claim that political, institutional and legal factors still play an important role at the national level.
The purpose of this conference is to undertake a close economic and legal analysis of recent social policy changes in Japan and Germany, which have so far received little or no comparative attention, and thereby contribute to the theoretical debate on convergent versus divergent developments in social policy. Japan and Germany seem to be especially suited for such a comparison because their economic systems and welfare regimes share many similarities; for this reason, converging or diverging tendencies can be traced more easily. In contrast to the Anglo-American free market economies, Japan and Germany have been described as coordinated market economies with close similarities in their financial and economic governance, production systems and management-labor relations. Following Esping-Andersen’s typology of ‘liberal’, ‘conservative’ and ‘social-democratic’ welfare regimes, there is a broad consensus that Germany is a ‘conservative’ regime with strong employment-related social rights and contribution-related benefits. Although there is less consensus on Japan’s position within these regime types, it is clear that there are numerous ‘conservative’ elements such as group specific, contribution-related social insurances and employment-related social rights.
This conference brings together economic and legal experts from Japan and Germany to discuss recent or planned changes in pensions, income policy, long-term care, the non-profit sector, and gender- and age-specific problems in social security. Two issues will be at the center of the comparative analysis:

  •  To what extent have changing attitudes about individual responsibility and social solidarity led to a redefinition of social policy objectives in Japan and Germany? Are there new trends in social entrepreneurship? How are we to interpret current public debate, which has focused on civil society and community-based remedies?
  •  What changes are taking place in the various policy fields on the instrumental level? Are we experiencing convergent developments? What similarities and differences exist and how can they be explained? What kind of instrumental adjustments should be in place in order to achieve the respective (changing) policy objectives?

Supported by:
The Univers Foundation
Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation
France Bed Medical Home Care Research Subsidy Foundation
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

Programm


10.09.2002:
9:00-9:30 Registration
9:30-10:00 Opening and Greetings
  Irmela HIJIYA-KIRSCHNEREIT (German Institute for Japanese Studies)


  Werner KAMPPETER (Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany)


Panel 1: Gender-specific Issues in Social Security for the Elderly


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10:00-10:30 Changing Work and Life Style Patterns and Economic Inequality between Male and Female Elderly in Germany
  Jutta ALLMENDINGER, University of Munich

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10:30-11:00 Gender Gap of the Financial Status in Old Age: Why are Older Women so Poor?
  SODEI Takako, Ochanomizu University

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11:00-11:30 Discussion
  Chairperson: HIROWATARI Seigo, University of Tōkyō


11:30-13:00 Lunch Break
Panel 2: Economic Inequality Among the Elderly and Reforms of Public Pensions


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13:00-13:30 Trends in Income Inequality Among Retirement Age Population in Japan - From the Viewpoint of International Comparison
  YAMADA Atsuhiro, Keiō University

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13:30-14:00 Welfare State Reform in Germany and the Shifting Principles of Redistributive Justice. Is the Pension Reform Symptomatic?
  Ute KLAMMER, Institute for Economics and Social Research, WSI

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14:00-14:30 Pensions in Japan: Searching for a New Paradigm
  TAKAYAMA Noriyuki, Hitotsubashi University

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14:30-15:00 Discussion
  Chairperson: SAKAMOTO Jun'ichi, Pension Bureau, Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare


15:00-15:30 Coffee Break
Panel 3: The Role of the Non-Profit Sector


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15:30-16:00 The Non-Profit Sector in Germany
  Ulrich F. BRÖMMLING, Association of German Foundations

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16:00-16:30 The Growth and Expansion of Non-Profit Organizations Under the Long-Term Care Insurance System
  ADACHI Kiyoshi, Kyūshū University

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16:30-17:00 The Role of Political Foundations in Germany
  Gebhard HIELSCHER, Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation

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17:00-17:30 Discussion
  Chairperson: ŌTA Tatsuo, The Japan Association of Charitable Organizations


17:30-18:00 Closing Remarks
  Harald Conrad


11.09.2002:
Panel 4: New Legal Issues in Occupational and Personal Pensions


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10:00-10:30 Occupational and Private Pension Reform in Germany: A Legal Perspective
  Yves JORENS, Ghent University, Belgium

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10:30-11:00 Reconsidering Japanese Corporate and Personal Pensions: From a Legal Point of View
  MORITO Hideyuki, Seikei University

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11:00-11:30 Discussion
  Chairperson: KOZAKURA Jun, Kagawa University


11:30-13:00 Lunch Break
Panel 5: Legal Guardianship and Consumer Protection in Long-term Care Insurance


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13:00-13:30 Principles of Legal Policy and the Development of Legal Guardianship in Germany
  Peter WINTERSTEIN, Ministry of Justice of Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania

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13:30-14:00 The Adult Guardianship Law and the Long-Term Care Insurance Law in the Context of New Social Welfare
  ARAI Makoto, University of Tsukuba

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14:00-14:30 Discussion
  Chairperson: IWASHI Wa’ichirō, Waseda University


14:30-14:45 Coffee Break
Panel 6: Recent Age- and Gender-Specific Legal Issues


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14:45-15:15 Legal Issues Relating to Age and Gender in Modern Japan – The Fourth Wave of the “Housewife Debate” since the 1990s and Issues of Legal Revisions
  KATSUKATA Keiko, Waseda University

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15:15-15:45 Age- and Gender-Specific Legal Issues in Germany
  Bernd SCHULTE, Max-Planck-Institute for Foreign and International Social Law, Munich

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15:45-16:15 Discussion
  Chairperson: Ōtsu Kazuo, Yomiuri Shinbun


16:15-16:30 Coffee Break
Panel 7: Non-Profit Organizations and Civil Society


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16:30-17:00 The Legal System Concerning Civil Non-Profit Activities and the Movement to Reform it
  AMEMIYA Takako, Shoin Women’s University

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17:00-17:30 The Changing Legal Framework for Foundations as Non-Profit-Organizations in Germany
  Nikolaus TURNER, Kester-Haeusler-Foundation, Fürstenfeldbruck

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17:30-18:00 Discussion
  Chairperson: KOTANI Naomichi, Yomiuri Shinbun


18:00-18:15 Closing Remarks
  ARAI Makoto, University of Tsukuba

Veranstaltungsort

International Conference Center of Waseda University
Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku
Nishi-Waseda 1-20-24

Lageplan

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