which has been well known for its high
health indicators in spite of the relatively
low health expenditure, is now witnessing
a significant change in this pattern.
The health indicators of the younger generations
are much worse than the older generations',
as most evident in high smoking and suicide
rates. Health care expenditure, the author
argues, is weakly related to health indicators
while other factors play a much more significant
role in its determination. The earlier
pattern was generally attributable to
diet, physical activity, lesser social
disparity, and a relatively homogeneous
and inclusive society but modern Japan,
along with changes in diet and lifestyles,
is increasingly facing an erosion of egalitarianism.
There is considerable casualization of
the workforce and associated downward
pressure on wages. These phenomena, coupled
with a loss of employment security and
mounting social inequalities, pose a significant
threat to the positive health indicators
in the country.