Department Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University College of Asia Pacific Studies Position Associate Professor
|Abe Shinzō's Campaign to Reform the Japanese Way of Work
|The Asia-Pacific Journal Japan Focus
|Volume, Issue, Page
|Author and coauthor
|Scott North, Charles Weathers (Equal Authorship)
|Prime Minister Abe Shinzō has made Work Style Reform (hatarakikata kaikaku) part of his core policy agenda, promising above all to remedy the Japanese way of work's two greatest problems: dangerously long work hours and grossly unequal wage gaps between regular and non-regular workers. However, critics charge that the proposals will likely aggravate these problems, given that labor policymaking is dominated by conservative business and political leaders bent on deregulation. This paper examines the current Work Style Reform proposals, explaining howthe work hour reduction and equal pay for equal work proposals are being promoted to the public, and why they ultimately fail as reforms from the worker point of view. Despite these serious problems, the government's effective marketing has helped to defuse potential resistance and the reform plans may become law in 2018.