Japan has a great welfare system. Often neighbouring countries come to study the Japanese system so they can implement something similar back home. But the demographics of Japan are rapidly changing and the system needs to adapt. The government has started working on an integration of the current welfare systems
The biggest change occurring is the rapidly aging population. By 2050 around 40% of the population will be seniors! Before that happens though, it is estimated that in 2025, when the early baby boomers start passing the age of 75, there will be a shortfall of 300,000 care workers. This will especially difficult in rural areas possibly requiring people to move from their hometowns.
In contrast with this, the population of children under 15 years of age has fallen for 33 years in a row and recently set a new record low of 12.8%. (Compared to 19.5% in the US.) This will lead to an ever decreasing portion of the population financially supporting an ever growing population of seniors.
As such, the welfare ministry has started to integrate the nursing care of the elderly, support of the disabled, and childcare services. The idea is that it will reduce overlap and lead to more efficiency. They hope that reviewing standards such as minimum required staff for welfare facilities and promoting the development of care workers’ skill sets will help facilities run with fewer staff and offer broader services. They plan to add overlap in training courses for nursing care and nursery school worker certification.
While it will not come soon, many people in the disabled community have been raising their voices in concern over fear of funding cuts and being painted with a “welfare” brush that is too wide.
What do you think? What is it like where you live? Leave us a comment below!