Establishing a Social-Darwinist Mentality in Japan's Paternalist State

The Potential of Resistance by a Counter-Public

Author: Ken'ichi Mishima


From a historical perspective, the welfare net in Japan was established from above without democratic participation and expanded only slowly. This expansion in many cases was aimed at enhancing national cohesion, especially during war time. During the current neoliberal era, Japan's paternalistic welfare state has been able to put into practice the dismantling of national pension and health-system systems without the need for any theoretical re-orientation. In response, counter-publics have engaged in protest and resistance. By doing so, the victims of modernization and those who are socially weak and disadvantaged in multiple ways are able to regain their self-esteem and personal integrity.

Translated from German by Iwo Amelung, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Regions: East Asia
Countries: Japan

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September 2016
© Arthur Jones, PhD