In Japan, worn-out phrases like gthe right to life,h gminimal security
of life,h and gbenefits by the countryh now fail to encompass the reality. This
paper clarifies the theoretical achievement of social security by analyzing five legal
theories of social security in Japan: the theories of rights, scope, legal system, legal
ideology, and legal subject. From the discussion, I draw three conclusions. First, as
the role of local governments and private companies has become gigantic, the
role of the nation in social security has become more relative. Second, the
relationship between the nation and its citizenry has been changing and the legal
subject of social security is now more diversified. And third, as measures of social
security are now addressing the security of health and a serene life beyond the
subsistence level, the characteristics of social security have become inarticulate.
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