Labor minister Chikara Sakaguchi said Sunday the government hopes to act as a facilitator between labor and management to help companies introduce work-sharing systems.

In trying to resolve disputes between labor and management over the system, “The government would like to be a go-between a bit more,” said Sakaguchi, indicating that the ministry will soon propose measures to facilitate the introduction of the system.

Corporate executives and labor unions have basically agreed to promote job-sharing as a means of dealing with the country’s deteriorating employment situation.

But labor unions are concerned that job-sharing will result in wage cuts.

“I would like to have the core of measures focused on the social security issues that may arise when companies hire new employees,” Sakaguchi said. He also hinted that the government may provide new subsidies to improve social security for companies introducing work-sharing systems.

Speaking on an NHK program, Sakaguchi said the government needs to strengthen job-creation measures to deal with the expected increase in joblessness that would result from an aggressive disposal of bad loans by banks.

He said the number of unemployed will likely increase by more than 300,000 if banks clear up 15 trillion yen in bad loans.

“If the number of the unemployed increases with the disposal of bad loans, it must be recognized as due to the government’s policy decision.”

Referring to the establishment of incentives to support job seekers, Sakaguchi said, “We’d like to implement the steps from around Dec. 1.”

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