Abstract. It is known that Japan enjoys a relatively well-developed old-age security system when it stepped into the population aging. Along with the development of economic society and transformation of man’s lifestyles, the traditional way of cares for the aged mainly based on family support in Japan has been gradually changed into a diversified endowment mode which is supported by countries, enterprises, communities and families. Through a brief introduction of the experience of Japanese endowment mode, it will help us to deal well with the problem of the rapid aging population growth in China.
Keywords: aging; endowment mode; family supporting; enlightenment
Japan which is in the East Asian culture circle has a time-honored tradition of family support. Influenced by Chinese Confucianism, it has integrated the filial piety into their lives and had the conception of providing for the aged ingrained in their families. However, with the development of economic society and the change of individuals’ lifestyles, the traditional pattern of family supporting in Japan has also made a difference.
1. Current Situation of Population Aging in Japan
The aging of population is a process in which the proportion of the aging population of a country or an area is constantly increasing. According to the aging rate, that is, the proportion of people over 65 to the total population of the country (area), the aging society around the world is marked off into three different periods: the rate between 7 % and 14 % is called aging society, between 14 % and 20 % aged society, and more than 20 % super-aged society.
In 1970s, citizens aged beyond 65 in Japan had taken up 7 % to the total population, which means Japan had stepped into aging society. The rate had reached 14 % by 1994 and Japan stepped further into super-aged society with 20 % by 2005. That is to say, by 2005 one out of five people in Japan had been elderly people over 65. While the aging rate approximately accounted for 27 % in 2017, the aging population over 70 is about 26.18 million with over 20 % of the elderly people for the first time by 2018, in accordance with the data from Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The increase of average life expectancy is a significant indicator of the aged tendency of population. A big decline in mortality rate of the young population, especially in infant, brought a largely enhanced life expectancy to Japan after World War II. With the improvement in healthcare and extension of average life expectancy, the lifespan of Japanese has been extended further. Nevertheless, the long life expectancy makes elderly’s life quality become a hot issue of social concern. Accompanied by the reduction of self-help ability and the growth of nursing care demand to the senior citizens, Japan in super-aged society faced financial pressure of increasing pension and medical pressure on growing social security and healthcare needs.
2. The Transformation of Endowment Mode in Japan
Family supporting for old-age is the traditional endowment mode in Japan. With the support of ruling class, the endowment mode takes effect to the end of World War Ⅱ. Family supporting in Japan is mainly based on the Confucian ethics of filial piety and the Buddhism idea of karma for impious man. Japan mainly adopts the eldest son endowment mode, which means eldest son is the only person to inherit property and to care for the aged.
After World War Ⅱ, with rapid development of economy, the family tape of Japan transformed from lineal families with three or more generations to nuclear families. Especially among the old-age families, nuclear families accounted for over half of the old-age families, and the nuclear families accounted for 51.77 % of the old-age in 2010. Among them, the nuclear families which consist of a couple kept proportion of 50 % to 60 % in nuclear family. In contrast, lineal families declined each year among the old-age families. In 1985, the sum of lineal families with two and three generations accounts for old-age families were about 42.55 %. Until 2010, it only covered 16.07 %. So linear families are not the major type of old-age families anymore.
Due to the development of social economy, the transformation of life style and concept, the change of family style and other factors, after the war, the Japanese endowment mode passes essentially through three stages, preliminary establishment of pension system, socialization of old-age support and formation of diversified endowment mode.
2.1 Preliminary Establishment of Pension System Period
After the World War Ⅱ, Japan amended new constitution. In the constitution, parental rights and Family Property Hand Down System were negated. According to the constitution, offspring have the responsibility of supporting for life to the aged, and the country has the duty of supporting for the aged whose life is difficult. With the establishment and development of social security, the duty of endowment gradually transformed from family to society and was displaced by the social welfare system. Japan pursued the national health insurance and the national pension insurance system began in 1959, which lied the foundation for transformation from family endowment to social welfare. During this period, family still plays the major in endowment. With the development of democratization and economy, the family type changes as well, and the family scale drops off.
2.2 Socialization of Old-age Support Period
After 1960s, Japan entered the period of rapid economic development. The population growth was changing during that time. The number of newly born babies as a family began to decrease, the family scale also developed towards small one while the nuclear families dominate.
Family supporting remained the main form in spite of people enjoying growing income during this time. In view of the diversity of families and weaken family supporting function, it needed society supporting to supplement effectively in order to cover the shortage of family supporting. Meanwhile, social security and social welfare had been improved at this time. In Japan, with the development of social security system, increase of aged annuity income and medical level, Japanese traditional families turned into modern families. Besides, the consciousness of endowment changed greatly and the function of family supporting dramatically declined.
2.3 Formation of Diversified Endowment Mode
In 1980s, as the stabilization and slow development of economy, there were also a lot of changes of Japanese lifestyle that modern family concept and family structure became the leader. The predominant nuclear family in modern family showed its weakness in terms of endowment with ageing developing. On the other hand, Japanese social security system was being perfected day by day, nevertheless. With the rapid speed of aging and great financial pressure of social endowment, the government emphasized and encouraged family endowment for some time. In 2000, Japanese government introduced a policy of nursing-care insurance system in order to solve the contradiction between growing needs of social security and insufficient government finance.
Nowadays, Japanese family supporting has further development by virtue of perfect social security system then it grows up. Diversified endowment mode refers to diversified subjects synergy to make higher health level of aged, social participation and lower social and family care costs by modifying residence of the aged and providing nursing service. Family plays a role of emotional care in endowment. According to the implement of nursing-care insurance system, the aged care and nursing problem are resolved professionally by family interviews, nursing and training. In other words, family breaks away from taking care the aged everyday little by little. Because of the implement of nursing service, family burden and inter-generational conflict get ease, which benefits for maintaining family feeling. Meanwhile, it also can meet the wishes of the aged that enjoy service at home and participate in society.
3. Problems of Japanese Endowment Mode
The fiscal taxation burden is increased. An abundant economic base is the prerequisite for the operation of diversified endowment mode. Along with the decreasing of child birth rate while the increasing of aging population after Japan entering to the 21st century, contradictions between the amounting cost of pension and the decreasing expenses on insurance are fierce. Now in Japan, according to the data from Ministry of Internal Affairs, every one in four has an elderly people over 65 years old. The rising aging population and average lifespan extension of the ordinary people mean the growing demand of support and nursing of the old people, which causes, in Japan, great financial pressures for social security system such as the medical department and department for pensions, etc. Meanwhile, under the background of such a sluggish economy, corporations' tax payment ratio concerning pension is declining, which further worsens government's fiscal burden with the constantly dwindled annuity.
The nursing personnel are understaffed. As the aging process in Japan is speedy, the number of nurses is too limited to meet the social demand even if the government incentives have designed to support the cultivation of nursing personnel. However, there is still serious shortage of nursing personnel with a high level of turnover rates due to the low income.
4. The Enlightenment of Japanese Endowment Mode
China is a late comer in aging societies, but its development is rapid and the total number of aging tops in the world with the huge population base so China faces much more pressing endowment problems. As Chinese endowment mode is not perfect at the very exploring stage, it is hard to solve the problem fundamentally though there is, for pension, the social security system from raising children for retirement safeguard, in recent years the house-for-pension scheme and remote living. Whereas the development of endowment mode in Japan, an integrated endowment mode will be suitable to our country, that is, the combination of home-based care, community support and institutions' endowment. Therefore, it's imperative for us to explore a diversified endowment mode that suits to our country by drawing experience from Japanese endowment mode and making adjustment from the status quo with concerted efforts of the state, corporations, communities, families and the individuals.
4.1 Improving the Relevant Law and Regulations to Build aSound Social Security System
For the past few years, social security system has been used to narrow the gap between rural and urban areas and solve problems in the endowment process. On the construction of aging population nursing welfare system in China, by exploring the advanced experience in Japan, we can set out supporting system and implement rules and feasible regulation for good preparation to the enforcement of old-age health support and nursing.
A series of laws and regulations related to the endowment have been laid down in Japan like Law of Nursing and Insurance. With reference to the Japanese endowment systems, we can improve our old-age security legal system by the implementation of supporting systems and detailed rules so as to establish overall management and a planning system that is scientific and logical. Thereby, the old-age resources will be soundly allocated to exercise a practical and high-efficient role.
4.2 Improving the Old-age Service System and Innovating the Old-age Service Method
Since the reform and opening-up, a tremendous change has taken place in China's economic society breaking the traditional view of raising children for retirement safeguard. While deeply influenced by the traditional family values, most of the elderly people would be reluctant to leave their family or hometown and wish to have home-based care. In light of the Japanese nursing system, we can provide a considerate household management service including health care, nursing, etc. by improving the exist community services and functions of aging care. With the engagement of community and family members in old-age service, a socialized service system comes into being where daily care, medical treatment and nursing, as well as mental care has been realized for residents at home.
4.3 Paying Attention to the Cultivation of Cursing Personnel
Fundamentally, the devotion of nursing personnel for the medical care and nursing of the elderly people is the prerequisite for the sound operation and development of the endowment system. In fact, nursing personnel is the foundation of the whole system of medical care and nursing for the elderly people. Hence, we have to improve the nursing service for the development of old-age service system in our country. Meanwhile, we have to depend on the industrialization of old-age service to cultivate nursing personnel.
In the cultivation of nursing personnel, material results in reform have been made in Japan through continuous efforts to intensify the protection of personnel's rights and interests. Besides Japanese government has revised the law to raise personnel's salary and reduced personnel's income taxes or exempted it. Talent pool and cultivation plan should also be formulated in China to cope with a much more serious aging process in the early stage. At the same time, the quality of service determines whether there is high quality life for the elderly people or not. Considering that, the Chinese government should enhance the cultivation of relative talents by vocational schools. Meanwhile, the Chinese government should raise their salary at some degree and safeguard their interests and rights to prevent brain drain.
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 Foundation Item: The staged achievements of “A comparative study of pension culture between China and Japan” (Item Number2016LY503W05) of Jilin Education Department. —Editor’s note