2008 年 1 巻 1 号 p. 20-30
Poverty is a 'fact' measurable by scientific poverty studies. Anti-poverty policies have directly responded to this 'fact'. This naive understanding is just a one-sided picture. Another view is that poverty is a product of the broader social policy context in which poverty has been dealt with directly and indirectly. What we perceive as poverty or whom we regard as impoverished today is greatly influenced by the social policy contexts of the past and the present. Thus grasping the characteristics of social policies inevitably accompanies poverty studies in a specific society. However little attention has been given to this point in either poverty and social policy studies in Japan. This paper takes up three important issues of social policy in Japan, which are supposed to obscure a poverty line or conceal some types of poverty. The first is the issue of complex and uncoordinated minimum standards of living in different policies. The second issue is that 'bypass' policies have been developed for some types of poor people outside main policies. The third is that the poor in need of care have been dealt with within the social service framework.