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POVERTY AND SOCIAL WELFARE IN JAPAN, edited by Masami Iwata and Akihiko Nishizawa. Melbourne: Trans Pacific Press, 2008, 323 pp., A$54.95 (paper)

Recent commotions on financial markets have underscored the fact that neoliberal reforms and destatization have not brought us the advantages of competition, but the sellout of governmental steering mechanisms that can protect the common good and prevent the splitting up of society into haves and have-nots. The past decade has seen the coming into existence in many advanced countries, including Japan, of a “precariat” (“precarious proletariat”) of people struggling with short-term jobs to make ends meet, as well as a new underclass of the socially excluded.

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