International Journal of Ageing and Later Life 2010 5(1): 77–106

Gender roles and social policy in an ageing society: the case of Japan
By Meiko Makita

DOI: 10.3384/ijal.1652-8670.105177


Berqvist, C., Borchorst, A., Christensen, A., Raaum, N., Ramstedt-Silen, V. & Styrkarsdottir, A. (1999). Equal Democracies: Gender and Politics in the Nordic Countries. Oslo: Scandinavian University Press.

Bryson, L. (1992). Welfare and the State: Who Benefits? London: Macmillan Press.

Cabinet Office (2008). White paper on the aging society (summary) FY 2007. Available on (Accessed: November 12, 2009).

Campbell, J. (1992). How Policies Change: The Japanese Government and the Aging Society. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Campbell, J. (2000). Changing Meanings of Frail Old People and the Japanese Welfare State. In S. Orpett Long (ed.), Caring for the elderly in Japan and the U.S. Practices and Policies Advances in Asia-Pacific Studies. (pp. 82–118). London: Routledge.

Campbell, J. (2002). Japanese Social Policy in Comparative Perspective. The World Bank Institute. Available on (Accessed: March 13, 2008).

Daly, M. & Lewis, J. (2000). The concept of social care and the analysis of contemporary welfare states. British Journal of Sociology 51(2): 281–298. [Read this article]

Esping-Andersen, G. (1996). After the golden age?: Welfare state dilemmas in a global economy. In G. Esping-Andersen (ed.), Welfare States in Transition: National Adaptations in Global Economies (pp. 1–30). London: SAGE.

Eto, M. (2001). Women’s leverage on social policymaking in Japan. PS: Political Science and Politics 34(2): 241–246. [Read this article]

Fuyuno, I. (2007). Ageing society in Japan – Part I. The British Embassy, Tokyo. Available on (Accessed: November 13, 2009).

Gottfried, H. & O’Reilly J. (2002). Regulating breadwinner models in socially conservative welfare systems: Comparing Germany and Japan. Social Politics 9(1): 29–59.

Harada, S. (1988). ‘‘Nihon gata fukushi shakai’’ ron no kazoku zou [The family in the theory of ‘‘The Japanese Type Welfare State’’]. In The Social Science Research Institute of Tokyo University (ed.), Tenkan ki no fukushi kokka [The Welfare State in Transition, vol. II]. Tokyo: Tokyo University Press.

Hashizume, Y. (2000). Gender issues and Japanese family-centered caregiving for Frail Elderly parents or parents-in-law in modern Japan: From the sociocultural and historical perspectives. Public Health Nursing 17(1): 25–31. [Read this article]

Higuchi, K. (2004). Women’s association for a better aging society. Invited symposia. 7th Asia-oceania regional congress of gerontology. Geriatrics and Gerontology International 4: S229–S231.

Hill, M. (1996). Social Policy: A Comparative Analysis. London: Prentice Hall and Harvester Wheatsheaf.

Holliday, I. (2000). Productivist welfare capitalism: Social policy in East Asia. Political Studies 48(4): 706–723. [Read this article]

Horlacher, D. (2002). Aging in Japan: Causes and consequences, Part I: Demographic issues, IIASA, Austria. Available on (Accessed: July 10, 2008).

IPSS (National Institute of Population and Social Security Research). (2010). The Cost of Social Security in Japan. Fiscal Year 2007 (April 2007–March 2008). Statistical Report No. 20. Tokyo, Japan. Available on (Accessed: June 10, 2010).

Itoh, M. (2000). The Japanese economy reconsidered. New York: Palgrave. [Read this article]

Izuhara, M. (2003a). Ageing and intergenerational relations in Japan. In M. Izuhara (ed.), Comparing Social Policies: Exploring new perspectives in Britain and Japan (pp. 73–94). Bristol: The Policy Press.

Izuhara, M. (2003b). Introduction. In M. Izuhara (ed.), Comparing Social Policies: Exploring new perspectives in Britain and Japan (pp. 1–16). Bristol: The Policy Press.

Kono, M. (2000). The impact of modernization and social policy on family care for older people in Japan. Journal of Social Policy 29(2): 182–203. [Read this article]

Korpi, W. (2000). Faces of inequality: Gender, class and patterns of inequalities in different types of welfare states. Social Politics 7(2): 127–191.

Koyano, W. (2000). Filial piety, co-residence, and intergenerational solidarity in Japan. In L.T. William & H. Kendig (eds.), Who Should Care for the Elderly? An East-West Value Divide (pp. 200–223). Singapore: Singapore University Press and World Scientific. [Read this article]

Long, S., Campbell, R. & Nishimura, C. (2009). Does it matter who cares? A comparison of daughters versus daughters-in-law in Japanese elder care. Social Science Japan Journal 12(1): 1–21. [Read this article]

Long, S. & Harris, P. (2000). Gender and elder care: Social change and the role of the caregiver in Japan. Social Sciences Japan Journal 3(1): 21–36. [Read this article]

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (2006). Labour and vital statistics, several research engines. Available on (Accessed: October 28, 2008).

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (2009). Outline of health, labour and welfare statistics 2009: Childbirth – child-rearing. Available on (Accessed: October 28, 2008).

Miyamoto, T. (2003). Dynamics of the Japanese welfare state in comparative perspective: Between ‘Three Worlds’ and the developmental state. The Japanese Journal of Social Security Policy 2(2): 12–24.

North, S. (2009). ‘‘Negotiating what’s ‘natural’: Persistent domestic gender role inequality in Japan’’. Social Science Japan Journal 12(1): 23–24. [Read this article]

O’Connor, J., Orloff, A. & Shaver, S. (1999). States, Markets, Families: Gender, Liberalism and Social Policy in Australia, Canada, Great Britain and the United States. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Read this article]

Ogawa, N. & Retherford, R. (1993). Care for the elderly in Japan: Changing norms and expectations. Journal ofMarriage and the Family 55(3): 585–597.

Ogawa, T. (2008). Common social issues and experience sharing between Japan, China and Korea – focusing on the issue of the aging society. In JICA (ed.), Aging Population in Asia: Experience of Japan, Thailand and China. Seminar Report on the Parallel Session at the 8th Annual Global Development Conference. January 17, 2007, Beijing, China. Available on (Accessed: March 22, 2010).

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2010). StatExtracts. Social and welfare statistic/social protection/aggregated data. Available on (Accessed: March 12, 2010).

Osawa, M. (2000). Government approaches to gender equality in the mid-1990s. Social Science Japan Journal 3(1): 3–19. [Read this article]

Pascall, G. & Kwak, A. (2005). Gender Regimes in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe. Bristol: Policy Press.

Peng, I. (2000). A fresh look at the Japanese welfare state. Social Policy & Administration 34(1): 87–114. [Read this article]

Peng, I. (2001). Women in the middle: Welfare state expansion and devolution in Japan. Social Politics: 191–196.

Peng, I. (2002). Social care in crisis: Gender, demography, and welfare state restructuring in Japan. Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society 9: 411–443. [Read this article]

Peng, I. (2004). Postindustrial pressures, political regime shifts, and social policy reform in Japan and South Korea. Journal of East Asian Studies 4(3): 389–425.

Peterson, P. (2002). The shape of things to come. Journal of International Affairs 56(1): 189–212.

Rebick, M. & Takenaka, A. (2006). The Changing Japanese Family. London, UK: Routledge.

Robb, B. (2003). Parent care and shifting family obligations in urban Japan. In J. Traphagan & J. Knight (eds.), Demographic Change and the Family in Japan’s Aging Society (pp. 177–201). New York: State University of New York Press.

Roberts, G. (2005). Balancing work and life: Whose work? Whose life? Whose balance? Asian Perspective 29(1): 175–211.

Rostow, W. (2000). Modern Japan’s fourth challenge: The political economy of a population. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 144(4): 384–396.

Schad-Seifert, A. (2006). Coping with low fertility? Japan’s Government measures for a gender equal society. German Institute for Japanese Studies, Working Paper 06/4. Available on (Accessed: October 21, 2009).

Statistics Bureau (2009). Chapter 2 Population. In Statistical handbook of Japan 2009. Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication – Statistics Bureau and the Director-General for Policy Planning (Statistical Standards) & Statistical Research and Training Institute. Available on (Accessed: November 2, 2009).

Tamai, K. (2003). Development of social policy in Japan. In M. Izuhara (ed.), Comparing Social Policies: Exploring new perspectives in Britain and Japan (pp. 35–48). Bristol: The Policy Press.

The Japan Times (1 February 2008). Women key to fixing demographic crunch. Available on (Accessed: October 23, 2009).

The Washington Post (2 March 2007). Japanese working women still serve the tea. Despite hopes for change as their ranks have grown, discrimination persists. Washington Post Foreign Service. Available on (Accessed: November 9, 2009).

Tsutsui, T. & Muramatsu. N. (2005). Care-needs certification in the longterm care insurance system of Japan. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 53: 522–527. [Read this article]

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) (2009). UIS Statistics in brief: Education in Japan. UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Available on (Accessed: November 8, 2009).

Usui, C. (2003). Japan’s aging dilemma? In The Demographic Dilemma: Japan’s Aging Society, Asia Program Special Report no. 107. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Available on (Accessed: July 6, 2008).

Vogel, S. (1978). Professional housewife: the career of urban middle class Japanese women. Japan Interpreter 12: 16–43.