Current Issues of Labor and Social Policies in Japan

As it seems that the administration of Naoto Kan will soon resign or call for elections, Japan is again in the midst of a government crisis. Wide-ranging social and economic problems call for solutions – however, a lack of majorities and recurrent oppositional blockades render reforms on the basis of the DPJ’s program impossible to realise.

"Ist Japan noch zukunftsfähig? Aktuelle Probleme der Arbeits- und Sozialpolitik in Japan"

Japan befindet sich erneut in einer Regierungskrise. Die Regierung unter Naoto Kan dürfte in Kürze zurücktreten oder Neuwahlen ausrufen. Fehlende Mehrheiten und Oppositionsblockaden haben zu einer instabilen politischen Lage geführt. Zudem trägt die Gefahr einer Spaltung der regierenden Demokratischen Partei Japans (DPJ) zur Unsicherheit bei. Umfassende soziale und wirtschaftliche Probleme warten auf Lösungen. Die Blockadepolitik der Opposition macht aber Reformen auf Basis des DPJ-Wahlprogramms derzeit unmöglich.

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
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Photo: FES Japan

Events

EPRIE 2019 - Overcoming the challenges posed by social media: How to make it work for social change?

EPRIE aims to share and exchange perspectives and experiences between East Asia and Europe. In 2018, we examined the challenges posed to the media sector by populism and post-truth politics. This year, together with media practitioners, actors from civil society, scholars and politicians, we will focus on social media as a tool for social change.

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C20 Summit "Promoting Peace, Human Rights and Democratic Governance through the SDG 16+"

Growing inequality, humanitarian crisis and violation of fundamental human rights threaten the international community. As conditions and space for civic society to find solutions to these challenges remain restricted, protecting human rights and the freedom of civic society are crucial. To achieve the SDG 16 focusing on Peace, Human Rights and Democratic Governance the civil society and the world leaders of the G20 must solve global challenges together. During the 2019 Summit "Promoting Peace, Human Rights and Democratic Governance through the SDG 16+" the Tokyo Democracy Forum will review and discuss these challenges within SDG 16 and adopt the Declaration of Tokyo Democracy Forum.

 

 

 

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Lecture "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Middle Powers Amidst Global Power Shifts"

Less wars, more prosperity—that is a global trend since the end of the Cold War. Yet, illiberalism is increasingly spreading, even in democratic countries, and nationalist populism has come to define the policies of some of the great powers. Do we head towards a world where—to speak with Thucydides—the strong do as they like while the weak do as they must? The most fragile and vulnerable states—the Middle Powers—have to find ways out of the conundrum. To that end, they must find solutions regarding the problems in their own societies.

 

Dr. Volker Stanzel is the former ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Japan and China and currently serves as the Vice President of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), Senior Distinguished Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), and President of the Association of German-German-Japanese Societies.

 

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Graphic: J. Traud

Latest Publications

Publication "The future of the German automotive industry. Transformation by disaster or by design?"

New concepts of digital mobility from China and Silicon Valley and the issue of environmental driving bans for diesel cars pose grave challenges to the traditional German car industry - the backbone of the German economy. German policies must support the transformation of mobility by initiating a stakeholder dialogue to forge a pact for future mobility to transform the German automotive industry.

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"Education and Patriotism" - A Documentary

The TV documentary "Education and Patriotism" (Kyōiku to aikoku) provides a critical look at recent debates surrounding the introduction of moral education in Japanese elementary and middle schools as a new subject and in particular focuses on the compilation, examination, approval and selection of textbooks for classes in moral education, while extending the analysis to the ongoing history textbook controversies.

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Renewable Energy Policies and the Energy Transition in Japan

This report outlines Japan’s renewable energy policy and the state of the energy transition in the country. It includes current prospects for climate change policy and the status of electrical power systems including nuclear power issues, status sand support policy of renewable energy as well as social issues and political feasibility. Furthermore, long-term vision and scenarios for promoting an energy transition are discussed, including community power and credit systems. Finally, policy recommendations are proposed for promoting energy transition in Japan.

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