Does Inequality Matter? How People Perceive Economic Disparities and Social Mobility in Japan


In collaboration with the OECD Center on Well-being, Inclusion, Sustainability and Equal Opportunity (WISE) and the Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training (JILPT), the Fondation France-Japon de l’EHESS participated in the organization of the High-Level Roundtable: “Does Inequality Matter? How People Perceive Economic Disparities and Social Mobility in Japan”.

Ensuring a strong and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and addressing the looming challenges created by a rising cost of living and by geopolitical tensions, will require policies and reforms that can tackle existing inequalities and promote equal opportunities as a foundation for future prosperity and social cohesion. However, ambitious reform packages on the scale needed to achieve this objective cannot be effectively implemented without widespread support from the public. To better understand what factors drive public support, the OECD report “Does Inequality Matter?” provides a detailed cross-country analysis of what people think about inequality and how their views shape the demand for redistributive policies.

The event provided an opportunity to present the findings of this report for Japan and stimulate discussion on what are the perceptions, definitions, and experiences of inequality in Japan. It centred around a panel discussion which brought to the table the voices and perspectives from different parts of Japanese society. Panellists included representatives from policy-making circles, the private sector, trade unions and civil society. The roundtable discussion focused on the following points: 

1.    What are the aspects and dimensions of inequality that are of main concern to people in Japan and how does this compare to other countries? 
2.    What risks would deeper inequalities raise for Japanese society? 
3.    What measures should be considered when we talk about (re)distribution to tackle inequalities? 

To read the report, please visit this link.
JILPT website
FFJ website

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