This paper compares Japan and 5 societies in East and Southeast Asia to clarify the factors underlying the childcare problems in contemporary Japan. Mothers continue to work when their children are small with no serious problem of childcare stress in most of our research areas. Our first question is how these societies overcome possible childcare problems we are suffering from in Japan. Our second question is whether these Asian societies will experience the "housewifization" of women and the privatization of childcare that might cause similar kinds of childcare problems as in Japan. This paper answers these questions based on the results of the international joint research project, "A comparative study of gender in Asian societies" (2001∼03), in which fourteen sociologists, including the authors of this paper, engaged. This project compares the patterns of female life course and social networks for childcare support in 5 societies with a special focus on the urban middle class recently established in various areas in Asia. Our conclusion is; (1) The most effective supporter for childcare is kin in most Asian societies. (2) The second most effective supporters are domestic workers in many societies. (3) Various kinds of effective networks exist in the societies where mothers with small children usually work (especially in China and Singapore). (4) Support networks are poor and weak in the societies where mothers with small children usually stay at home (Korea and Japan). We also observe the trends of "housewifization" of women in working-mother societies due to unemployment, insufficient childcare facilities, or the emphasis on the new roles of mothers such as "mothers as care givers" or as "mothers as educators."
By a rapid reduction in the number of births after World War II in Japan, the population transition was dramatically achieved from a high birth and low death to a low birth and low death. In this process, the concept of children had been changing, that is, from "endowed ones" to "produced and cherished ones". The aim of this paper is to study what the change of such a concept of children meant According to the study, the following points have become clear. 1) People came to desire fewer children to raise into "good ones". Consequently, their existence meant that they should be cherished and educated. The "good children" were also supposed to be in good health and do well at school. 2) People thought that a bright and happy home was fulfilled by having the "good children".Iln order to realize their hope, it was necessary for husband and wife to cooperate. 3) Such a concept of children, at the same time, supported a governmental man power policy in the early 1960's. The Japanese Government was still interested in the "quality" of population from the late 1940's to the early 1950's when quantitative control of population was proceeding because of population pressure. In the 1960's, when there was a reduction in the number of births, concern about the "quality" of population was argued under the issue of "improvement of population quality". In order to secure the good labor force which bore economic development. the government encouraged making a "good home" since it considered it a base for the man power policy, and claimed the necessity of home education by mothers. Each home, on the other hand, desired to make a "good home" by raising fewer children into"good ones". This man power policy and expectation of each home, therefore, agreed on the point of hoping for "good children".
Around the turn of the century, the birth rate began to decline rapidly in Germany. German people thought the declining birth rate was a problem for the German nation. Many factors were thought to be the cause. For example, economic problems, religious weaknesses or neo-Malthusianism and so on. One of the interesting explanations was that the decline was a type of "psychic" infection. Many people thought infertility was caused by parents who preferred a rich life and were immoral. The two child family system (Zweikindersystem) was a target of blame. This system only concerned the type of family with two children. But the system was thought to bring about a declining birth rate. While the two child family was blamed, the child rich family (kinder-reiche Familie) was praised. I tried to focus on the discussion about the two child family systern, and to clarify the relationship between the issues of population and family in the early 20th Century. That criticism changed throughout World War I. During the war, the population was thought to be the power of the nation. Many experts emphasized that the child rich family should be supported, because infertility was a threat to the national power of Germany that is volkskraft. The concept of 'volk' had been become a key word in Germany. 'Volk' meant not only the nation, but also racial, emotional, and communal people 'Volk' were believed to be based on German families. The meaning of the declining birth rate was changed by the concept of 'volk'. The Focus of this word changed from the quantity of population to the quality of population. After the War, the society and economy of Germany were seriously damaged. Many German people felt their family life also was damaged. At this time, the birth rate was lower than before. The two child family system was also blamed, but the focus of criticism has changed. Before the war, parents had been blamed, but now the system itself was blamed for having a bad influence upon children and culture. Educational experts urged that children learn ethics in the family; children couldn't learn ethics in the two child family system, because parents of the two child family system were not ethical and moral. A psychologist proved that good students had many siblings. Good family education was thought to need many siblings. Another population specialist insisted if all families followed the two child family system. German culture would not flourish. Many famous Germans stemmed from child rich families, for example Bach, Kant, Bismarck etc. It was said that they could not have been born under the two child family system. We can see the change of the discussion on population in the social and national crisis in the case of early 20th Century Germany; the meaning of the declining birth rate changed from the problem of quantity to the problem of quality of population. It was at this point that education was focused on. It was emphasized that family education in the child rich family was important for children, culture and 'Volk'. It is important to note that emotional and racial rhetoric also be used discussion of population. This argument makes a connection to the next age; Nazi Germany.
This research based on a questionnaire survey of 604 mothers discusses different social classes of parents who choose the national or private elementary school for their children in the metropolitan area. According to the results of this survey, the following trends appear to be evident. Parents who choose private schools are likely to hold highly respected occupations with higher incomes. They are about five years older than the regular parents of the kindergarteners. Those fathers who meet the requirements for the elementary school entrance examination are from the age group of around 35 years old or older and are in the administrative position in their companies. On the other hand, mothers that have made the choice of not having more than one child was because they are already too old to give birth. Moreover, many of those mothers with much cultural capital, helped their children's successful performance at the entrance examination. This, in fact, contributes to the cultural reproduction of social classes. As a result of these factors, the parents succeed increating a luxurious educational environment where they invest economic capital and cultural capital in "only one child".
The purpose of this study is to examine this problem and the current Japanese governmental provision for the declining fertility. The primary factor (question) in the declining Japanese fertility comes from the established view of the difficulty of social situation and childcare in our view of living. At the base of these factors, there is Japanese governmental policy whose keynote is home supremacy and the sex role specialization theory. Today, the principal subject is not the declining fertility, but the solution of the widespread view of the difficulties of childcare in social environments. In this sense, what is important is how to promote child-rearing support. I think the present-day problem is how to advance the spcialization of child rearing from the view point of the unified security for the right of childrearing and the right to recieve achild care. In this viewpoint, I state the necessity to grasp childcare support systems as the general social support systems which are approximately composed of the 5 domains. Therefore, I will propose following 5 principal domains. -To secure the living support for all family and parents who have babies and infants. -To guarantee home environment, such as the protection of the mother when giving birth and raising the child safely and securely while maintaining work as well as having leisure time to wrestle with childcare safety support. -To guarantee to have a pleasant time with the child, to be concrete, a time for keeping house with family cooperation and having a relationship with the parents and the day nursery or kindergarten where the child attends. -To support the maintenance and the expansion of family environments to secure the child's development and life. -To support the maintenance and the expansion of diverse facilities and equipments as a day nursery, a kindergarten, playground and a local environment. I emphasize that all of these subjects are very important and each of them are mandatory. Besides, I will focus on how the childcare support system should be conducted in a Day nursery or a Kindergarten, as stated in the 5 domains. I also investigate the attitude of the nursery teacher, the gap between parents and nursery teacher and how a parental view of difficulty to care for the child can be overcome to promote Childcare Supports. And I investigate the attitude of nursery teacher, the gap between parents and nursery teacher and how a parental view of difficulty to care of child can be overcome to promote Childcare Supports. Finally I will consider the left rooms to be discussed further.
Recently the systems of teachers' Long-term Study and Self-Improvement (LSSI) have been diversified. It is a desirable reform for teachers to increase the opportunities for LSSI. But the results of developing the systems without principles have thrown them into confusion. The purpose of this study is to identify original conceptions and principles of LSSI in the process of forming the provisions for study and self-improvement of the Law. I will examine the points at which our gaze is directed to discuss present systems of LSSI. The law which has been the grounded law for teachers' study and self-Improvement was enacted and enforced in January of 1949. It was noteworthy the systems for LSSI had been planned during the process of forming the Law. I investigated the three principles in the original conception. (1) The first one was the principle of freedom for LSSI. The demand and approval on person were prerequisites for LSSI in the original conception. As a rule they were recognized to receive the opportunities for study and self-improvement according to their study planning on subject and institutions. (2) The second one was the principle of recognition LSSI as teachers' service. I think that LSSI with the certain length of their service was recognized as teachers' service not leave of absence, but salaries would be partially provided taking the difference between usual service and LSSI. (3) The third one was the principle of the equal opportunities for LSSI. The original systems for LSSI intended to entitle not only excellent teachers but all teachers according to the extent of their service, such as seven years or five years. There are no existing systems of teachers' LSSI on the general ground. The systems of LSSI have not satisfactorily developed from enactment of the Law. In my opinion, the system with certain length of their service would be the most reasonable and realistic to realize these three principles. I would like to show the outline of the medium or long-term plan of reforming the present systems of LSSI as follows. (1) The certain length of their service should be seven years to ten years, aiming at ten years for the present. (2) The demand and approval in person should be prerequisites for LSSI. (3) The term of LSSI should be two or three years. (4) They should present the detailed planand report of LSSI. They should consult with the supporting committees of LSSI (a tentative name) mainly consisting of professors. (5) Salaries should be basically provided in full, even though partial payment could be made under certain circumstances, etc. It is most important, I think, that teachers should research on the systems of LSSI and petition them in order to reform them.