Between policy and practice: Japan's silver human resource centers as viewed from the inside

Glenda S. Roberts*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The Silver Human Resource Centers (SHRC) were first established in 1980 to address the economic and psychological needs of Japan's growing numbers of senior citizens. The Centers, through which people are introduced to jobs in their locales and from which they receive remuneration for services performed, are by now well established throughout Japan. This article examines the gap between SHRC members' evaluations of the Centers and the Center guidelines, as stated in their published literature and in interviews with program administrators. The analysis is fourfold: (1) it explores the members' reasons for participating in the program; (2) it discusses their assessments of it; (3) it examines gender and social class differences in program planning and participation; and (4) it analyzes the Ministry of Labor's plan for new directions for the Centers. Although new policy directions do address many members' concerns, they do not attempt to question or change the status quo of the gendered division of labor in Japanese society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-132
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Aging and Social Policy
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Oct 25
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Gerontology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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