Recently we’ve seen a lot of young job hunters in new suits, and many of them seem not to have gotten accustomed to wearing them yet. It is a pity that some of them behave so clumsily under pressures they have never experienced before.

These job hunters suffer from a sense of “lock step” in Japanese society. They look as if they were forced to wear a uniform. Every company job application form, or “entry sheet,” looks the same. Their dialogue in interviews is benign.

You can’t help becoming aware of how careful these people are not to show a bad manner. They try to look obedient and decent. They believe that if they fail to enter a company as a regular worker on April 1, they could have an extremely hard time getting a regular job for the rest of their life. This makes them all the more conservative and cautious. Under such circumstances, it is natural to expect these new employees to be meek conformists.

The Japanese labor market has been criticized as inflexible, and as unforgiving of people who want to change jobs. With Japan suffering from worker shortages, we should mend defects in the labor system not only for the people who have already gotten jobs but also for the young people who are put off by the preposterous demands for formality and by the invisible restrictions.

shuichi john watanabe

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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