Social Justice in an Era of Globalization

Must and can it be the focus of social welfare policies? Japan as a case study 1

Authored by: Tatsuru Akimoto

Routledge International Handbook of Social Justice

Print publication date:  April  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415620437
eBook ISBN: 9781315857534
Adobe ISBN: 9781317934011


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To date, the concept of “social justice” has not played a major role in the development of social welfare policies in Japan. This essay will address several questions emanating from this observation: In an increasingly globalized and multi-polar world, is the failure to apply social justice principles to social welfare allowable? Are we Japanese proud of this failure? Must a nation’s social welfare policies be assessed against how it applies the concept of social justice to itself, to other countries, or in its relationships with other countries? Perhaps, yes. But is the concept of social justice, which has been widely discussed throughout the world, equally applicable to the nations of Africa and Asia, Islamic countries, and to Japan as in the West? What is the meaning of justice and social justice in Japan today? What are the implications of compelling diverse societies to measure themselves by a Western standard when these societies have no comparable concept of social justice?

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