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Politics of old-age policy-making

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concentrates on three important areas: public pensions, medical care, and long-term care. By the turn of the millennium Japan's pension and health-care programs for older people had reached the standard of the rich nations. It explains on the policy-making process-in particular, the most important policy-change events over a fifty-year span. Periods of expansion alternated with periods of reform, and some policy changes were dominated by bureaucrats largely working behind the scenes, while others were much more open and political. The most important old-age policy developments of the decade were the reconstitution of the Employees' Pension System (EPS) in 1954, to cover workers in all but the smallest companies, and the creation of the National Pension System (NPS) in 1959, to cover everyone not covered by an employment-related pension. The reforms of the 1980s were hardly a permanent solution to the "ageing society problem".

Keywords: Japanese economy; Old-Age policy developments; pension policy; political parties



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