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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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Record No. of Foreign Trainee Employers Violate Labor Laws in 2016 (News)

Tokyo, Aug. 9 (Jiji Press)—A record number of employers accepting trainees from abroad under Japan's Technical Intern Training Program violated labor laws in 2016, the Ministry of Labor said Wednesday. The number of factories, offices, and other business bases where such law violations were found came to 4,004 across the country, the highest level since 2003, the earliest year for the existing …
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Money Dreams: Foreign Students to Japan Face Growing RisksIdei Yasuhiro

Japanese language schools have been growing in number year after year, and there are now more than 600 in operation around the country. But many of their students have come to earn rather than learn, deceived by brokers touting high-paying jobs. They borrow heavily to come to Japan, where they find themselves struggling to pay off their loans while laboring for low wages at jobs shunned by Japanese.
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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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Japanese Panel Agrees on ¥25 Minimum Wage Increase (News)

Tokyo, July 26 (Jiji Press)—A Japanese government advisory panel agreed Tuesday to propose raising mandatory hourly minimum wages by ¥25 on average in fiscal 2017. The rate of increase for the year that started in April matches the government's target of around 3%. The proposal by a subcommittee of the Central Minimum Wages Council, which advises the labor minister, will raise hourly minimum…
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Dentsu to Face Formal Trial over Illegal Overtime (News)

Tokyo, July 12 (Jiji Press)—The Tokyo Summary Court decided Wednesday to put Dentsu Inc. on formal trial in a high-profile illegal overtime case. On July 5, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office brought a summary indictment against the Japanese advertising giant on charges of violating the labor standards law. But the court judged the prosecutors' action to only demand a fine was inappro…
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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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Confronting “Karōshi”: Actions to Prevent Death from OverworkKawahito Hiroshi

In response to the highly publicized suicide of a young employee at advertising giant Dentsu, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare in December 2016 released emergency guidelines aimed at preventing karōshi, or death by overwork. As the issue attracts greater official attention, Japan must examine the factors that have made excessive overtime so pervasive and consider steps to protect employees from the health risks of overwork.
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