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At the initiative of its chairman, Hiroaki Nakanishi, Keidanren (the Japan Business Federation) has reached a formal decision to abolish the uniform recruiting schedule for new hires among its member companies. I welcome the decision as a move to shake up conventional labor management and human capital development practices in Japan — which I have always found too rigid, and increasingly outdated, amid the debate and discussion over the future of work in the global landscape.

Maintaining a “traditional” and “orderly” once-a-year recruiting practice in Japan, which is quite different from the trend elsewhere, has limited the nation’s potential to address its declining working-age (15 to 64) population and the opportunities for Japanese businesses to broadly recruit the best talent from the global pool.

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