by Mayumi Kurosawa
Recently, a decrease of labor force in Japan is one of the major problems for Japanese society. This problem seems to have two causes: one is that “団塊世代” (= the baby boom generation) is to retirement age, and Japanese society loses much labor force at the same time, and the other is that birth rate is declining annually and Japanese society is aging rapidly. Kosuke Motani who is one of the committee of the Cabinet Office estimates that seven millions of labor population (20 years old – 59 years old) will dwindle away in a decade. This decrease of labor force can lead serious problems to Japanese society, such as a depression and nursing care for elderly people. Generally speaking, accepting immigrants can be a solution and foreign workers can be important labor force for Japanese society. But, we might already have another solution: Mommy.
Of course, accepting more immigrants has many advantages, but I think that housewives and mommy have potential to save Japanese society. According to the census, there are more than sixteen-millions housewives who don’t jobs today. Although they don’t earn money, they work hard for their family. They do the household chores day after day, cooking, cleaning room, laundering, taking care of their children and parents, and so on. If their labors are converted into money, they might earn as much as (or more than) their husbands. Employing more housewives and mommy can stop the decreasing the labor population and have more advantages than accepting and employing foreign workers.
First, there are less need to educate housewives and mommy than immigrants. In the case of foreign workers, they need to learn language and a company should help them to learn study and adjust to Japanese society. Moreover, a company should teach them know-how carefully. On the other hand, most housewives and mommy have worked once, so it’s not much cost than employing foreign works.
Second, housewives have influences on Japanese domestic consumption, which brings Japanese economy to dynamics. But, foreign workers tend to send money to their family in their home country, so they don’t have much influence on Japanese consumption.
Taking advantages of mommy’s potential saves Japan from serious social problems. The generation that housewives and mommy play a more important role in the society may come soon!