A Comparative Study on the Social Welfare Policy in Korea and Japan during the American Military Occupation- Centered on the Anti-poverty Policy

한국과 일본의 미군정기 사회복지정책 비교연구 - 빈곤정책을 중심으로 -

  • 이혜원 (성공회대학교 사회복지학과) ;
  • 이영환 (성공회대학교 사회복지학과) ;
  • 정원오 (성공회대학교 사회복지학과)
  • Published : 1998.11.25

Abstract

The American military occupations of Korea(1945-1948) and Japan(1945-1952) after the second world war had great influences on the history of the two countries, the contents and results were, however, quite different. This study attempts to analyze the similarities and differences, the determinants of the social welfare policy, and their long-term effects on the later social welfare policies in the two countries. For the purpose of this study, it uses a comparative case study on the public assistant policies of the two countries during the American military occupation. The conclusions of this study are summarized as follows. Firstly, although the American military occupations of the two countries faced the similar social problems during the same period, their countermeasures were quite different from each other. In Korea, the American military occupation hardly tried to establish a substantial social welfare system by making laws, but, mainly relying on temporary emergency relief, they just aimed for social control. On the other hand, in Japan, the American military occupation tried to improve the existing social welfare system in terms of the principles of demilitarization and democratization. Secondly, the political determinants of the social welfare policy in the two countries were much more important than the socioeconomic determinants. Especially the differences in the basic military occupation principles, the administration structure, and the roles of the indigenous ruling classes acted upon the different social welfare policies of Korea and Japan. Thirdly, the long-term effects on the later social welfare policies in the two countries was different. In Korea, the American military occupation hardly contributed to modernize the social welfare policy. Therefore, the unsystematic premodern relief system continued to exist for a long time. On the other hand, in Japan, the American military occupation contributed to modernizing the social welfare policy in terms of ideology and system and formed the groundwork for developing the later social welfare policies.

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