This paper focuses on the discussions about the care services for elderly people during the introduction of Long-Term Care Insurance in Japan.
To resolve the problem of nursing care socialization and the associated financial challenges, in 2000, Japan introduced Long-Term Care Insurance under the Ministry of Health and Welfare, through political processes such as agreements with stakeholders, ruling examination, and diet process. Although the Ministry of Health and Welfare initially intended to examine how elderly care should be provided and how to protect financial security and develop a social care system, the discussion mostly focused on financial security and the social insurance system.
As a result of the inadequate debate about elderly care service during the introduction of the system, several new social problems occurred, accompanied by the rapid increase in the elderly population, weakened family function, and the increase of new forms of unconventional families. For example, the number of elderly people waiting to occupy the intensive care home is increasing rapidly, especially in the urban areas. The number of family members who have to quit their jobs for family care is also increasing.