Mutual Support
From gKazenoko Letterh No.377 - June 2009

@ The Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry requested for the people of the community to actively adopt a gnew mutual support systemh and for the social welfare council to play an important role as the driving force behind the gResearch Council for the Future State of Community Welfareh report. The government has taken responsibility as a nation and gone forward in preparing a budget for just about everything in postwar Japanese welfare. However, gradually it is running short of money, and the state of welfare has seen a significant change in trajectory. The government which was at the forefront has now taken a step backward into a supportive position.

@Countries in north Europe take responsibility for the well-being and lives of citizens, so welfare, medical care and education are all free. The costs are 100% covered by tax. As a result, tax is high and 50% of salaries are taken by tax. Consumer tax is 15%, so shopping is very expensive. This is called, gHigh quality welfare and high costs.h

@With regards to Japan, we are gmedium quality welfare and medium costs.h The cost of Japanese welfare is covered by tax, an insurance plan and private expenses. The balance among these three will change depending on politics. As for supporting this model, the idea of gmutual supporth by the community is expected.

@It is strange that the idea of gmutual supporth by the community has proceeded with high priority as part of government measures. It is natural for human beings to extend a helping hand to people who have a problem. This feeling of supporting each other is very important in building trusting relationships, because people live within social relationships.

@ I wonder if people in north Europe live in a simple, but settled life even though they pay heavy tax because there is some kind of basis of security. In opposition to this, it is a problem that many people live in anxiety of growing old in our country.

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