Neoliberals And The Radical Left Are In The Same Basic Income Boat: Is The Debate In Japan An Exception Or Is There A Universal Rationale Behind It?

Around 2009, the debate over basic income in Japan reached not only academics  but also citizens, politicians, activists and the media. In spite of skepticism and opposition  from all political spectrum, support of the idea has come from two different political strands: the radical left and the Neoliberals. For a decade I have been researching radical grassroots activism for BI in Europe, and a concise introduction for BI that I published a year ago emphasized these roots for BI. This book was well received among some grassroots activists. So attention to BI from the radical left is not surprising for me, and internationally speaking, it is no surprise at all, even some academic proponents for BI in Japan dislike this connection (cf. Tateiwa and Saito 2010). 
In Korea, while, as in Japan, major proponents of BI also seem to come from the radical left, the debate differs from Japan in that there are not so many proponents from Neoliberals. So the fact some Neoliberals are influential ideologues of BI in Japan needs some explanation for a Korean audience. 
The purpose of this paper is to give a concise picture of the Japanese situation in order to discuss Neoliberals and BI.  
Employment insecurity after the financial crisis of 2007, finally destroyed the "We are all middle class" myth. Another result of the crisis was the defeat of the Liberal Democratic Party (the LDP). After over half a century as the majority party in the Diet, the LDP lost the 2009 election to the Democratic Party of Japan (the DPJ).  A prominent economist made the statement "The income security and household subsidies indicated in the DPJ's manifesto ultimately lead to the Basic Income discussed in Western Europe"(Ito, 2009). In this vein, the DPJ's Tax Policy Investigation Committee organized seminars on the topic of Basic Income in which I, and two other experts, gave presentations. 
However the DPJ has never officially endorsed the Basic Income policy. Media treatment of Basic Income is extremely rare, and, even among people knowledgeable of the policy, the majority is of the view that the guarantee is not in accordance with the traditional ethics of Japanese society.   
The first section will provide an overview of Japan's system of income security over the past half century and show the various causes of the current system's dysfunction. In the second section, following up on the situation just described in the first section, I will cover economic policy and political reality while analyzing the vocabulary to describe the situation. I will point out the lack of a vocabulary used to describe the new direction gradually being taken under the DPJ.  After briefly outlining the debate surrounding Basic Income in the third section, I will use the fourth section to propose using the vocabulary accumulated in the BI debate to fill the explanatory gap in discussions of current economic and social policies.