JTUC-RENGO Vision for Social Security in the 21st Century
Basic Philosophy of the Society We Aim for and Its Vision
Basic Philosophy of Social Security and Its Materialization
Social security is the foundation and standard of the society that we aim for. We need a clear philosophy to rebuild the Japanese social security system, which now faces a serious crisis. In other words, the basic philosophy for rebuilding our social security system into a system that can bring “security” to all people, instead of the current system that “distributes anxieties” among them, could be summarized into the four key elements described below.
1. The four basic ideas of social security
- (1) “Universalism” that covers all citizens
A change from the “selective approach” that targets certain segments of “the weak” to “universalism” that covers all citizens
- (2) A departure from “services under administrative control”
A change from “services under administrative control” to “use by contract” based on “need” and “choice” of service recipients themselves
- (3) “Participation and sharing of responsibilities” by those who shoulder the costs and recipients
A consensus should be reached by those who shoulder the costs and recipients, through a subjective “mutual sharing of participation and obligations” in administering schemes
- (4) “Social solidarity,” meaning mutual assistance among generations and within generations
A system based on “mutual assistance” (social solidarity) among generations and within generations (social collaborative projects)
2. Institutional reforms in five key areas that give concrete form to the basic philosophy
- (1) Change in resources allocation = through fiscal structural reform, the emphasis of resources allocation should be shifted away from public works and toward welfare and social security.
- (2) Re-definition of public administration functions = public administration carries out public services as an entity mandated by citizens to manage and administer welfare and social security schemes.
- (3) Social consensus = a consensus needs to be reached on the cost burden and level of benefits provided, as well as re-distribution mechanisms, from the viewpoint of the “provision of security.”
- (4) Promotion of decentralization of authority = the uniqueness of communities should be assured in terms of the participation of citizens and users, as well as the provision of welfare services.
- (5) Radical reinforcement of measures to support the nurturing of future generations and child-raising = as the child-raising function of families and local communities declines, benefits related to child-care and family-support schemes should be expanded to promote social support for child-raising.