I thought I would talk about the low Japanese birth rate that is going on but please be aware that my topic is more about working Japanese women.
I often have been told that near future, we young people will have to support more old people financially at school. I wasn’t quite sure at that time, but the issue seems more serious than I thought. We have pension bureau, aka Japanese pension system is providing benefits to insured persons or their survivors, when they retire from their working-lives, become handicapped, or die. A character of Japanese public pension system is the universal coverage of Japanese population by social insurance pay-as-you-go scheme. Another character is what is called a “three-tier” system. The first tier is Basic Pension, the second one is income-related public pension for employees, and the third one is the corporate pension. (according to Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.)
We have used this system for long, and it has worked. However, when the population of young people is getting less, there will be a huge issue. – Who will pay pensions for elderly people?
According to 高齢社会白書 in 2015 made by Cabinet Office, Government Japan, only 2.8 young people support one senior citizen. They assume that in 2060, we will not even have 2.8 but only 1.3. Back in 1950, one senior citizen was supported by 12.1 young generations.
However, I also think that we could guess that this would happen thinking about our society yet I am afraid politicians didn’t try to fix it much earlier. Obviously the society changed a lot since 1950. – I believe that this issue has a lot to do with working women. As a Japanese girl, I strongly feel that the society doesn’t support women who want to work enough. Women quitting a job just because they get pregnant or they give a birth still happens. It seems still common. Unfortunately there are even workplaces that force them to quit or don’t let them stay in the position where they are currently anymore after they are back at work. So in the end more women start to choose working instead of having kids. Well, I know how they feel. Why can’t we choose both? Well, it is still possible, but you are going to be bloody busy especially when you have a husband who has a “classic” idea about husbands. (By the way, I remember I really got shocked when I saw the statistics about the number of Japanese men around my age (20s), it said still 50% of them have this idea. ) Well the whole society needs to be really changed. I mean, Japanese working society still is focused on men. Fair enough, this has been our traditional custom where men are supposed to work while women must stay at home. However, this can’t be an convincing excuse anymore. Clearly women also have to work to support family financially nowadays.
I really think that its crazy how women basically have to choose between work and kids which, all women are entitled to have BOTH. Don’t you think so? For the government who has to work on pension bureau, supporting women who want to keep working even after having kids is a good solution. (Okay I sound a feminist who has a wrong idea about feminism. Feminism is more about the gender equality. )
I am insecure about my future options. I remember I was complaining about why we should make this huge decision at some point to my mom, she said ” Well, this won’t change so soon. We can’t help it. and we all women know it but our voice isn’t heard yet.” I hope that near future this conversation won’t happen.