Time, Money, Infrastructure: Young Parents' Needs and (dis)Satisfaction with Family Policies in Japan

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 4:30 PM
Room: Booth 53
Oral Presentation
Barbara HOLTHUS , Social Science Section, German Institute for Japanese Studies, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Generally, family policies can be categorized into the three pillars time, money, and infrastructure. This is equally the case in Japan. Differences between countries lie in the way how a country balances these three pillars. In the case of Japan, the longest running policies can be found in the arena of infrastructure (of daycare centers). Money policies like child-care allowance are newer, and time policies, such as childcare leave and work-life balance policies, have been the most recent addition.

In this paper we ask if parents of young children (up to age 6) are aware of the different policy measures, if and to what degree they use them and if and to what degree they are satisfied or dissatisfied with them. It is furthermore the question if there are significant correlations to be found with such demographic indicators as gender of the parent, their income level, employment status, regional stratification, marital status, and/or the age of their child(ren).

Data comes from a nation-wide survey, conducted by the German Institute of Japanese Studies Tokyo (DIJ) and Benesse Corporation. 2000 mothers and fathers throughout Japan were surveyed in early 2012. The survey data brings new insights into the well-being of parents. We model parental well-being to consist of seven dimensions, one of which is the well-being or satisfaction with family policies, a so far highly understudied dimension of well-being and the focus of this presentation.