Formal-care work under the Japanese quasi-market

Towards a care-friendly gender regime

Authored by: Sumika Yamane

Routledge Handbook of East Asian Gender Studies

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138959897
eBook ISBN: 9781315660523
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter investigates how Japanese welfare policy ranked, feminised and valued care work, focusing on the effect of the introduction of the Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI) on the working condition of care workers. The LTCI contributed to change the logic of care, from the ‘familial logic of care’ that emphasises the experience of domestic work of female workers, to ‘the professional logic of care’ that requires the care workers to acquire the skill and the knowledge to offer the user-oriented care. Nevertheless, the policy based on efficiency has deteriorated the working condition of these workers, and caused the labour shortage. It is far from the care-friendly gender regime where the skill and responsibility of formal-care worker were recognised.

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