Labor Market -- Sayonara Salaryman?

SalarymanBy Steffen Heinrich and Florian Kohlbacher

Change and continuity in Japan’s permanent employment system

More than a decade of reforms have made Japan a global leader in non-regular employment; lay-offs have become common and many expect that the current market environment will bring about an overhaul of Japanese HR strategies. Yet, despite all this, we find that the system of permanent employment has hardly changed.


The Labor Market -- Poles Apart

Illustration: WorkforceBy Wataru Nakazawa

The stratification of the Japanese workforce.

Over the 2008/2009 holiday period, the reality of Japan’s non-regular employment system set in. The nation tuned in to the television news to see report after report on a temporary village of haken workers (dispatched workers) camped in Hibiya Park in the center of Tokyo. The flood of newly unemployed and homeless entered the park as the fallout from the Lehman’s collapse and the unprecedented recession that followed spread to factory floor.


The Labor Market -- Below the Surface

Illustration: Japan's Foreign WorkforceBy Florence Rau and Gabriele Vogt

Japan’s Foreign Workforce

Ronaldo N. is waiting. Waiting for a phone call that would bring him back to the construction site where he used to work for 12 years. In December he was temporarily discharged from his employment. For the time being, he has tried to sustain his family of four by packing lunch boxes in a convenience store. “My wife and I were packing lunch boxes even on New Year’s Eve,” he says in broken Japanese.


Subscribe to RSS - labor market