Japan’s Fureai Kippu Time-banking in Elderly Care: Origins, Development, Challenges and Impact
by Mayumi Hayashi. Japan’s Fureai Kippu (‘Ticket for a Caring Relationship’) refers to mutual support networks of members of all ages, targeted at providing care for older people through exchanges of time credits, sometimes supplemented by cash payments (‘time-banking’). This has attracted increasing attention as a potential contribution to the ‘Big Society’ with an ageing population. However, despite its pioneering role and scale, relatively little is known about the details and outcomes of Fureai Kippu, and meanwhile simplistic and optimistic generalisations predominate. This article, using historical analysis and empirical evidence, seeks to address these gaps by examining the origins of Fureai Kippu, its early expansion, post-2000 slowdown and responses. It considers the practical contributions and varied benefits potentially offered by the system, along with its operational difficulties. The conclusion is that Fureai Kippu is so complex that not only is evaluation difficult but also no universal panacea can be expected from it.
Hayashi, M. (2012) ‘Japan’s Fureai Kippu Time-banking in Elderly Care: Origins, Development, Challenges and Impact’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (A) 30-44 <www.ijccr.net>