A new specter hangs over Japan: the specter of insecure employment. The source of this insecurity is the August 2012 reform of the Labor Contract Act related to fixed-term employment. Due to take effect April 1, the thrust of the reform is as follows:
1. Workers employed on fixed-term contracts for five years must be granted open-ended employment if they apply for it (Article 18).
2. Establishes clear legal parameters for refusing contract renewal, or yatoidome. (Article 19). (Note: This has already gone into effect.)