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Warfare and WelfareMilitary Conflict and Welfare State Development in Western Countries$
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Herbert Obinger, Klaus Petersen, and Peter Starke

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198779599

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198779599.001.0001

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Welfare Policy and War in Japan

Welfare Policy and War in Japan

Chapter:
(p.149) 6 Welfare Policy and War in Japan
Source:
Warfare and Welfare
Author(s):

Gregory J. Kasza

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198779599.003.0006

World War II marked a massive change in Japan’s public welfare policies. The demands of total war greatly increased the state’s responsibility for the well-being of its subjects. Both the military and a new Ministry of Health and Welfare generated expansive new programmes despite the absence of pressure from political parties or labour unions. Not only soldiers and their families but also members of the civilian labour force were targeted as vital ‘human resources’ for war. Among the most noteworthy policies were public health insurance, pensions, public assistance for the poor, housing, and pronatal measures. Many policies and institutional changes enacted during the war survived to provide the foundation for Japan’s post-war welfare state.

Keywords:   Japan, World War II, welfare state, welfare state expansion, total war

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