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Trying Out Teleworking at Nippon.comMasuda Miki

As working from home gradually becomes an option for company workers in Japan, Nippon.com has instituted its own system allowing employees with young children to telecommute. How are the workers making use of this new flexibility?
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45% of Japan Companies Face Full-Time Worker Shortage (News)

Tokyo, Aug. 24 (Jiji Press)--A record 45.4% of Japanese companies face a shortage of full-time employees, a Teikoku Databank Ltd. survey showed Thursday. The figure is the highest since the private credit research firm started the survey in May 2006 and up 7.5 percentage points from the July 2016 poll. By industrial sector, information service, including software-developing companies, topped…
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Why Are Wages Not Rising Despite the Labor Shortage?Genda Yūji

According to standard economic theory, a shortage of workers will cause wages to rise. Why is this not happening in Japan? Is it because of insufficient capital investment, as the government suggests? Other factors may be more important, notably the weakness of companies’ on-the-job training. And given the rigidity of regular wages, greater flexibility in bonus payments seems like a better route to higher pay.
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972 Disabled People Faced Workplace Abuse in Japan in FY 2016 (News)

Tokyo, July 26 (Jiji Press)—The number of people with disabilities who were abused at their workplaces in Japan came to 972 in fiscal 2016, down 151, or 13.4%, from the preceding year, a government survey showed Wednesday. Of the total, people with intellectual disabilities accounted for 53%, those with mental disorders 24%, and those with physical disabilities 21%, according to the Health, Lab…
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Amid Labor Shortage, Japan Inc. Looking at Four-Day Workweek (News)

Tokyo, June 11 (Jiji Press)—In the face of acute labor shortages, a number of Japanese businesses have adopted four-day workweeks and others are looking at the option in a bid to secure personnel by offering more diverse ways of work. Retailers and parcel delivery service companies are leading the way, with one company allowing workers to take second jobs to help make up for lost income. In …
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Reality Check on Work-Style Reform: Filling In the Big PictureTsuru Kōtarō

Economist Tsuru Kōtarō assesses the virtues, failings, and implications of the government’s action plan for “work-style reform” in a political and economic context and discusses the challenges that lie ahead.
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Ōita Backs Overseas Students to Revitalize Local Economy (News)

Ōita, May 25 (Jiji Press)—With its population shrinking, Ōita Prefecture has since fiscal 2016 ramped up efforts to help students from overseas who want to start businesses or work locally. The southwestern prefecture has the largest number of international students per 100,000 population and hopes they will help revitalize the region's economy, officials said. One such initiative is to offe…
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Work-Life Balance Holds the Key to Japan’s FutureKomuro Yoshie

Japan has changed fundamentally since the era of rapid economic growth, yet Japanese companies remain wedded to an obsolete workplace culture in which core employees, overwhelmingly male, are expected to work grueling hours while leaving domestic matters to their wives. Business consultant Komuro Yoshie argues for government incentives and supports to promote a work-life balance suited to Japan's rapidly aging society.
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Record 97.6% of Job-Seeking Grads in Japan Get Positions (News)

Tokyo, May 19 (Jiji Press)—The employment rate for university students who were actively seeking jobs after graduation in spring this year came to 97.6% as of April 1, hitting the highest level since the survey began in 1997, the labor and education ministries said Friday. The figure for new graduates was up 0.3 percentage point from the year-before level. The employment rate as of April 1 rose…
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New Employees in Japan Want Holidays over Pay Growth: Survey (News)

Tokyo, May 11 (Jiji Press)—New employees want more holidays and less overtime work rather than pay growth, according to a recent survey by Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting Co. The annual survey, taken from late March to early April, asked rookies who joined last month to choose three out of the eight prepared answers to the question of what they expect from their companies. Of the tota…
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