During the last five decades, family life of the Japanese elderly and longterm care have drastically changed. As a response to the rapid population aging and the increasing difficulty of family care, a new universalistic system of long-term care services is going to be introduced in 2000. The new system, called the Insurance Against Care, acknowledges societal responsibility for long-term care, and guarantees a certain level of provision of care services. While the insurance is a response to the changes in family life of the elderly, symbolized by the decrease of co-residence with adult children, it may further stimulate and complete the changes to family life of the Japanese elderly which began in the 1960s.

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