12 US-China L. Rev. 1 (2015)

handle is hein.journals/uschinalrw12 and id is 1 raw text is: 





US-CHINA LAW REVIEW

VOL. 12                     January 2015                       NO. 1

    POLICY DISCOURSE, FRAMING, AND THE 2004
    PENSION REFORM IN JAPAN: RETHINKING VICE
                   INTO VIRTUE THEORY

                          Masato Shizume*

        The 2004 pension reform in Japan had replaced the defined benefits
    structure with defined contribution structure. The pension benefits would be
    reduced by 15%for not only future pensioner but also current pensioner. In
    the retrenchment, policymaker made voter's eye turn to burden phase
    rather than benefit phase by insisting policy discourse, such as
    intergenerational equity. Furthermore, a new policy choice, which imposes
    fewer burden than the worst scenario, was presented. As a result, they were
    able to avoid the blames from the voters even if the voters will endure more
    burdens and receive fewer benefits after the reform.

IN TRO D U CTIO N   .............................................................................................  1
I. PROSPECT THEORY, FRAMING, AND POLITICAL DECISION-MAKING IN
U N PO PULA R  R EFORM   ...................................................................................... 3
II. THE IDEAS AND FRAMING IN JAPAN'S 2004 PENSION REFORM ................... 7
    A.    The New Policy Idea and the Shift of Reference Point ............. 7
    B.    Pension Committee in Social Security Council: The Member and
D iscussion  .................................................................................................   9
     C.   Quantitative Content Analysis of the PCSSC Minutes ............... 12
III. BARGAINING WITHIN GOVERNMENT PARTIES ..................................... 15
    A.    Manifest of the 2003 Lower House Election ........................... 15
    B.    Reactions of Public Pension Stakeholders ............................. 17
C O N CLU SIO N   ............................................................................................. 19

                           INTRODUCTION

    The Japanese pension reform in 2004 leads to huge retrenchment. It
replaced a defined benefits system-in which benefits were expressed as a
proportion of earnings over a given number of years-with a defined
contribution structure according to which benefits would depend on the total

* Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, Ritsumeikan University. Research fields: Social Policy.


doi: 10.17265/1548-6605/2015.01.001

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