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Less children and aging populations in Japan

Cat: ECO
Pub: 1999
#: 9913

Yoichi Masuzoe



Less children and aging populations in Japan


Yoichi Masuzoe 桝添要一

Nov. 1999

  1. Prologue:
  2. Sense of crisis:
  3. Global standard:
  4. Nursing care insurance system:
  5. New political antithesis:
  1. プロローグ:
  2. 危機意識:
  3. グローバルスタンダード:
  4. 介護保険制度:
  5. 新たな政治の対立軸:
  • GLOCOM Reading Circle by Mr Yoichi Masuzoe, Nov. 1999
  • GLOCOM読書会報告 (舛添要一氏) 1999年11月

>Top 0. Prologue:

  • Mr. Yoichi Masuzoe, Prof. of Glocom and the former candidate of Tokyo Metropolitan governor, made presentation at Glocom about the theme of "Less children and aging populations in Japan" using his own book. The reading circle gathered more than double participants including more women than usual, showing how serious and important the theme is.
  • This theme also closely relates to the drastic change or paradigm shift of various fields in Japanese society, such as reform of education system, pension system, long-term care system, and medical system. The author made several radical proposals to meet with the pessimistic future estimate of Japanese demography. Among these, long-term care insurance system is in just in controversial issue.

0. プロローグ:

  • 1999年 11月 に著者でもあるグローコム教授舛添要一氏 (前都知事候補) を迎えて「少子高齢化ニッポン」の読書会が行われた。このテーマの読書会にいつも倍以上の参加者があり、その中でも特に女性陣の参加が目立った。
  • 日本の構造変化、パラダイムシフト、少子化と教育改革、そして現在の争点である年金・介護・医療の問題にまで敷衍した冷徹な数字の分析に基づく熱い報告であった。また介護保険制度は時機を得たテーマであった。

>Top 1. Sense of crisis:

  • There is a big difference of crisis perception about future Japan between the habitants in cities and country areas. Since the bankruptcy of Yamaichi Securities, the failures of Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan and Nippon Credit Bank Ltd. and the purchase of Nissan by Renault have shown typical destruction of nondestructive mythology of big companies as well as non depreciative mythology of land value which have been long believed in Japan.
  • These phenomena awoke Japanese people to recognize the necessity of Japanese structural reform. Financial reform called financial big ban in Japan is still in the process, and the proliferation of electronic commerce is far behind of US, while decrease of children and increase of elder people phenomenon is getting conspicuous among advanced countries.
  • The birth rate, or total number of children a woman produces in her life is 1.38 in 1998, which will be1.1 to 1.2 reflecting present economic recession. The reasons of such lower figures are directly caused by higher percentage of delayed marriage and non marriage, in addition, unusual expensive lifetime educational cost may also adversely affect it.
  • The author proposes radical idea of abolishing Ministry of Education as well as compulsory education system, and instead privatizing all educational organizations aiming to total educational reform. We have a history that private elementary schools (called 'Terakoya') in Edo period (17-19th century) gained more success and such higher literacy rate contributed to modernize Japan after the Meiji Restoration.

1. 危機意識:

  • まず、日本を巡る危機意識について、都市と地方では認識の差はあるものの、山一の倒産、長銀・日債銀等の破綻、そしてルノーによる日産買収と、土地神話のみならず大企業の安定神話も同様に崩れつつあり、日本の構造変革がはっきりと認識されてきている。
  • 金融ビックバンに端を発した構造改革もまだ途上であり、インターネットによるECの普及も米国に比べ大きく遅れてしまった中で、日本の少子高齢化だけが先進国の中では顕著にかつ着実に進行している。
  • 出生率、即ち女性が一生に生む子供の数は、98年には1.38であったが、これは現在では更に不況で追い打ちされ、おそらく1.1から1.2のレベルに落ち込んでいるという。これは晩婚と非婚が直接の原因であるが、日本の教育費の異常な高さもその遠因となっていることは疑いない。
  • 極論だが、文部省を廃止し、教育機関を全部私学化し、義務教育をやめるほうがむしろ真の教育改革になるのではないかと著者は論断する。江戸時代の寺子屋は大衆教育として成功を収め、識字率の高さが明治維新以降の変革に寄与した歴史があったのだ。

>Top 2. Global standard:

  • Japanese corporations and Japanese people are obliged to change according to the so-called global standard, but only Japanese governmental organizations look reluctant and slower in changing.
  • The author emphasizes 180 degree change is needed; such as smaller corporations with core competence and cash flow oriented management will be main players than traditional big corporation with integrated functions without district strength and enormous amount of inefficient balanced sheet. The devaluation land cost in Japan will never reverse in trend as long as a century from now on which means the land should not be purchased any more as an latent asset.
  • It is obvious that the utmost defects in Japan are less mobility in getting jobs and less opportunity of new entrants in the market. It is even costly to establish a new company to raise funds without collateral security and burdensome to conquer the various barriers. Present ongoing merger or tie-us of the big city banks may find a way out of difficulty by carrying out restructuring of branch networks rather than pursuit of scale merit.
  • Japan is now in the process to drastic change of total social system. The issues tackled by Obuchi administration are worn-out mostly pointed out by Maekawa Report, the former chairman of Bank of Japan in 1985. "The Lost 90's" is seasonable expression describing the last decade of Japanese economics.

2. グローバルスタンダード:

  • これからグローバルスタンダードに向けて企業も個人も変わりつつある中で、政府の変化だけが緩慢に見える。
  • むしろ今までの価値観を180度変えるべきと著者は主張する。即ち、BS重視の大企業ではなく本業とCF重視の小企業の中で自己実現を図るべきであるし、土地の価格にしても反転はおそらく百年間は期待薄なので購入すべきでないと断言する。
  • 日本の現在の最大の欠陥は、物事が流動化しないことと新規参入が困難なことである。会社設立もそのための資金調達も、初期参入の敷居は高い。現在進行中の銀行の合併・提携も規模のメリット追求よりも支店網の整理統合、リストラの断行にこそ期待がある。その意味で現在の日本は大変革に至る過渡期である。
  • 小渕政権が現在取り組んでいる課題は、すでに1985年に前川レポートで指摘済みの事柄である。即ち"The Lost 90's" (失われた十年) がまさに適訳となっている。

>Top 3. Nursing care insurance system:

  • Regarding to the fund of controversial care insurance system, the welfare purposed consumption tax should be preferable than insurance policy because wealthy people pay more consumption tax and the burden of welfare will become fairer.
  • We should start the reform of the systems from 1) pension system, then 2) medical system, and thereafter 3) long-term care system by which only 15% of old people can enjoy.
  • Shortage of labor power due to less children is getting more serious. Working environment of old people and women should be encouraged so that they may get more working opportunity, and concurrently opening policy for foreign workers should also be promoted.

3. 介護保険制度:

  • 現在話題の介護保険制度について言えば、消費税を福祉目的税化した税方式の方が、裕福で多消費の高齢者から多くの納税が期待できるので、介護負担はむしろ公平といえる。
  • 更に言えば、制度改革の順番は、1) まず年金、2) 次に医療、3) それから介護 (高齢者の15%がその対象) であるべきである。
  • 少子化による労働力不足はますます深刻になる。高齢者も女性も就業機会をもっと作れるよう環境を整備すべきだし、外国人労働者の受け入れについての開国も必要となる。

>Top 4. New political antithesis:

  • New political contra position should aim smaller government, or more directly represent the interest of urban habitants. Rearrangement of the present 47 prefectures into about 9 larger regions can promote local autonomy.
  • During the transitional period from Edo period to Meiji period total way of life including foods and closing styles drastically changed, and such change acknowledged people with the advent of new age. It was important to make people acknowledge a realty of big change just like experienced at the beginning of Meiji period and then the post world war II.
  • It may be also useful to change the present residential address based on the new rearrangement together with drastic restructuring of governmental organization into only five as central governmental organization such as the Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice and Defense Agency.
  • By the failure or restructuring of big corporations people were shaken up into admitting the change of era, but still not enough.

4. 新たな政治の対立軸:

  • これからの政治の対立軸は、小さな政府を目指すかどうか、あるいは都市vs地方である。地方自治を促進する上では9つ位の道州制という第二の廃藩置県をすべきである。
  • 幕末から明治にかけて日本では生活様式も服装もがらりと変わり、誰もが大変革を実感した。今は幕末、戦後改革に次ぐ大変革をどうやって全国的に認識させるかが重要である。
  • それには道州制による住所表示を変えたり、中央官庁の数を、総理府、外務、大蔵、法務、防衛の1府4省にするなど大変革が必要だ。
  • 今日までの大企業の破綻やリストラは、国民にとって時代変化の認識の一助にはなったがまだまだ足りないような気がする、と著者はいう。
  • The reporter recalled the words of General Takamori Saigo of the Emperor's Army saying "Blood shedding is still not enough (to open the new era)."
  • Mr. Masuzoe's radical reform programs seem incompatible with the mainstream faction of LDP who have enjoyed in the ancient regime.
  • 官軍の西郷隆盛の「血の流し方が足りもうさん」の言を思い出す.
  • 桝添氏の急進的な改革プログラムは、旧体制の中で享受してきた自民党主流派とは相容れない立場のようだ。

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