In difficult times, the quickest way is to learn from the history of overcoming difficulties. The Great Famine of the Tenmei Era (1789-1889) caused an influx of people from rural areas to urban areas, and public safety worsened. Heizo Hasegawa, known as “Onihei,” cracked down on heinous crimes as an officer of “Hitsuke tozoku aratame-kata”, and also opened a “Ninsoku-Yoseba” as a measure against unemployment during the Edo period. He provided job training to the unemployed. Eiichi Shibusawa, who established a “Yoikuin”, was also involved in similar activities. It is important to prevent crime before it happens. Many crimes are caused by poverty and hardship. The introduction of basic income has been discussed since the Davos Conference, but many people are against it. If, instead of simply handing out money, we could combine vocational training with the provision of start-up capital, as Heizo Hasegawa has done, I think there would be less opposition.
If they seek employment in existing companies, it will be a game of musical chairs and competition for positions. Like Heizo Hasegawa's policy, support is needed to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to start a business. Recurrent education is necessary, but it is expensive. Those who are unemployed cannot be forced to bear the burden. However, free vocational training facilities are difficult to maintain. In order to solve this problem, we can ask companies to become sponsors and, for example, offer paid internships to the top performers who have taken programming courses. Internships are needed not only for new graduates, but also for those who have failed to find a job and have no work history. Also, we should not forget to increase the number of free start-up facilities.
With the pandemic caused by Covid-19, the world will once again be made aware of the importance of basic income. In Japan, a special fixed benefit of 100,000 yen per person is paid. It should be a permanent system, and it should be one support system that brings together welfare and pensions.
Governments and local governments can also create or attract new industries. Mariana Mazzucato is preaching state-led innovation. I suggest expanding the SME SUPPORT JAPAN fund and establishing an investment fund in local governments. For example, let's say that we want to follow the Green New Deal and attract environmental industries, as the leftist Democrats in the U.S. claim, by inviting companies and research institutes with power2gas and recycling technologies to create jobs and promote technological cooperation among companies. Once a base is established, it will attract companies even if it is left alone. This will artificially create a comparative advantage.