While it was more than half a century ago that the idea of basic income was partially introduced to Japan, it has been a decade since serious academic discussion took place, prompted by Professor Shuji Ozawafs publication giving Japanese readers a good understanding picture of basic income. In recent years several academic symposiums focusing on basic income have been held, a multitude of seminars for a wider audience has taken place, and some activism endorsing basic income has been born. Newspapers and radios are now starting to cover basic income. It is time to build a network for spreading the idea of basic income. We first gathered in November 2007 and have held several academic seminars since then.
The first goals of this network are as follows:
- to hold regular seminars that facilitate academic discussion for basic income and that can function as a meeting place for people who are interested in basic income.
- to create a website and to produce an e-newsletter that publicises our activity to a wider audience.
- to build an international communication with academics and activists who work for basic income, including associations such as Basic Income Earth Network, and Citizenfs Income Trust.
- to develop this provisional network into a formal network in a few years time.
We have so far held three seminars (the
details will be uploaded shortly), and will hold them 4 times a year. The next
seminar will be held at the end of this semester and information will be
Recent (2008-9) News on Basic Income
Shogo Takegawa (ed.) Citizenship and Potentiality of Basic Income, Horitsu-Bunkasha, Kyoto.
This book is the third volume of three volume series titled gagenda and challenge of new social policyh, whose expected readers are mainly academic. The first part of the book consists of theoretical chapters, whose contributors are Shogo Takegawa, Reiko Goto, Miyo Akimoto, and Tetsuki Tamura. The second part consists of chapters that examines relevance of basic income with Japanese social security system, whose contributors are Hideaki Kikuchi, Masato Shizume, Akemi Kita, Shuji Ozawa and Taro Miyamoto. This is the second publication that exclusively focus on basic income written originally in Japanese, following the first book by Shuji Ozawa published 2002.
Shogo Takegawa is a professor of sociology
Toru Yamamori Introduction for Basic Income, Kobunsha, Tokyo.
This book is published at a popular form called gshinshoh, similar to series such as gPenguin booksh in Britain, aiming for diffusing the idea of basic income to a wide range of people, mainly general readers from politicians to welfare claimants, but also intellectuals and academic who are skeptical to the idea. The chapter 1 explains how Japanese welfare state that formally adopted the principles shown in the Beveridge report has failed not only remedying relative poverty but also absolute poverty. The chapter 2 and 3 shows that the history of Single mothersf welfare feminism that demanded basic income, their theoretical counterpart in modern Italian thought, and its relevance with Japanese disability movements. The intermezzo of the book shed light on philosophical speculation from Bertrand Russell to Philippe van Parijs. The chapter 4 depicts the history of the idea and chapter 5 examines various argument by economists. Chapter 6 overviews current arguments and actions from BIEN to precarious workersf activism, and shows possible steps for basic income in Japan.
This is the third publication that exclusively focus on basic income written originally in Japanese, and the first publication for general readers.
Toru Yamamori is an associate professor of social policy at Doshisha University.
4th January 2008
Tokyo Shimbun News had an article in favour of BI. Toru Yamamori explained the idea and feasibility of basic income and Masaru Kaneko commented that current system should be replaced by something else, though he isnft sure that basic income is the best alternative.
15th January 2008,
NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) Radio showed a short program that introduced the idea of Basic Income. Toru Yamamori spoke that the deaths caused by poverty in Japan should be taken seriously and basic income can be one of remedies.
1st and 13th June 2008,
Kyoto Shimbun News had two articles in favour of BI. Shuji Ozawa and Toru Yamamori contributed. Ozawa explained current problems of social security and financial feasibility of BI. Yamamori explained BI activism from Martin Luther King to anti G8 movements.
26th December 2008,
Takafumi Horie (famous IT entrepreneur) briefly referred BI on a popular TV program of TBS(Tokyo Broadcasting System).
19th April 2008
Japanese Association for Feminist Economics had 4th annual conference at Shiga university, and its general theme was gfeminist way forward to Basic Incomeh. Toru Yamamori organized and Shunko Ishiro, Shuji Ozawa, Kumiko Ida and Tetsuki Tamura spoke. The output is now under publishing process.
Provisional BIJN had several academic meetings in Tokyo (January 2009) and Kyoto (July 2008 and March 2009).
The New Party Nippon adopts Basic Income in their Manifest. Yasuo Tanaka, the leader of this party argues for Basic Income via several media. He has been famous writer, ex-governor of Nagano prefecture and is only MP of this party.
The partyfs website:
3 April 2009
More than 40 MPs of the Democratic Party of Japan (the largest opposition party) had a study meeting of Basic Income. Toru Yamamori spoke and Shogo Takekawa and Taro Miyamato will speak next occasions.
The partyfs website
April and May 2008
The independent Mayday events were organized by casual workers movement at more than 10 cities, some of which affiliated with Euromayday. At some of them there are participants who demanded Basic Income.
Anti G8 movements took in place at several cities, and at some of them there are participants who demanded Basic Income.
22 February 2009
A disabled peoplefs movement has an annual gathering at Kyoto with support of Kyoto city government and Kyoto prefecture government. Toru Yamamori was invited to speak for Basic Income.
1 March 2009
The Feminist Labour Centre in Kansai has an annual gathering at Osaka and Toru Yamamori was invited to speak for Basic Income.
The Group gForum Threeh had a study meeting for Basic Income at Tokyo. Hirono Seki gave a lecture.
news of 2007 on BI from Japan:
September 16 2007
gIs Basic Income the Answer?h
The 4th annual conference of the Japan Society for Disability Studies featured Basic Income at one of their plenary sessions. Speakers are Toru Yamamori, Yasunobu Nozaki, Kosuke Okabe and Ryo Misawa. This session was organised and chaired by Shinya Tateiwa.
http://www.jsds.org (in Japanese)
April 29 2007
Claimants Union for Basic Income (founded September 2007) joined Mayday by precarious workers.
http://basicincome.blog29.fc2.com/ (in Japanese)