Jul 11, 2014

Japanese firms near crisis point as labor shortage deepens

Japan’s labour shortage is nearing crisis in some key industries as it spreads from construction to services, curbing companies’ operations, pushing up wages and potentially crimping a tentative recovery in the world’s third-largest economy. Airlines, retailers, truckers and restaurant chains are being forced to ...

Jul 8, 2014

Progress made on labor rights issues at Ottawa TPP meeting

Officials from the 12 countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership have made significant progress on the issue of establishing rules for labor rights protection at their ongoing meeting in the Canadian capital, a Japanese official said. Under the TPP initiative, the 12 countries are ...

The thrill of the job won't pay the rent

| Jun 14, 2014

The thrill of the job won't pay the rent

by Philip Brasor

“If your work isn’t what you love, then something isn’t right.” — Talking Heads Last January, NHK’s nightly in-depth news series, “Closeup Gendai,” ran a feature about the practice of “poeticizing” (poemu-ka) the harsher aspects of life. It’s not a trend that’s easy to ...

Japanese to study unions at U.N. body

Jun 10, 2014

Japanese to study unions at U.N. body

by Keiko Kimura

A 34-year-old Japanese woman has been tasked with studying cooperative unions’ medical care and welfare businesses in Asian countries, through a position at the International Labor Organization. “I think connections with people can produce some great power,” said Satoko Horiuch, an official with the ...

| Mar 15, 2014

Economy can do without structural reform

by Jochen Legewie

While critics of “Abenomics” begrudgingly agree Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policy package has been a success so far, they are equally quick to highlight its looming headwinds. They concede that the first two “arrows” of Abe’s economic program, monetary easing and fiscal stimulus, have ...

Unions set to get forceful in pay demands

Feb 17, 2014

Unions set to get forceful in pay demands

The nation’s unions have started demanding wage hikes from cash-rich firms as annual pay talks get under way, setting up a rare showdown after years of drama-free labor relations. Unionists are questioning if usually quiescent workers should stick by a decades-long strategy of keeping ...

Jan 11, 2014

Toyota union to demand pay hike

The federation of labor unions for Toyota Motor group firms decides to demand a pay-scale hike at upcoming spring wage talks for the first time since 2009.