In recent decades Japan has changed from a strongly growing, economically successful nation regarded as prime example of social equality and inclusion, to a nation with a stagnating economy, a shrinking population and a very high proportion of elderly people. Within this, new forms of... inequality are emerging and deepening, and a new model of Japan as 'gap society' (kakusa shakai) has become common-sense. These new forms of inequality are complex, are caused in different ways by a variety of factors, and require deep-seated reforms in order to remedy them. This book provides a comprehensive overview of inequality in contemporary Japan. It examines inequality in labour and employment, in welfare and family, in education and social mobility, in the urban-rural divide, and concerning immigration, ethnic minorities and gender. The book also considers the widespread anxiety effect of the fear of inequality; and discusses how far these developments in Japan represent a new form of social problem for the wider world.
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