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Japan introduces legal cap on long working hours under labor reform law

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The law limits overtime work to 45 hours a month and 360 hours a year in principle. The monthly cap can be extended in busy periods, for up to six months a year.

Even in such cases, the ultimate overtime cap of 100 hours a month and 720 hours a year is set. Companies that violate the rules will be punished, possibly with a fine of 300,000 yen.

Right, companies will STILL find a way to circumvent the laws. This "6 months" is BS, as any company could technically do it for 6 months, take a day off and start over!

Any business that requires an employee to work 100 hours overtime in any given month, is undermanned, poorly managed, and is literally a "black" company!

No one should work for them!

35 ( +36 / -1 )

If you asked me, more than even sickness, these excessive hours affect families in a negative way. Far too often kids barely interact with their fathers. The burden of bringing up children relies solely on the mother. Young boys who need a father figure have basically none with the exception of a few hours once a week.... if they're lucky. It would be great if dad could get home from work at 6PM and spend some time with the kids and maybe take a little pressure off of mom. And cut down on the tenkin, where dad leaves the family for a year or two while mom stays behind with the kids. Far too much of that crap too.

31 ( +31 / -0 )

Well it's a start... better than what they've done before, which is the government "strongly urges" companies to reduce overtime...

16 ( +16 / -0 )

What's going to happen when someone dies from overwork under these conditions? The company will be able to say, 'It wasn't us; we were following the law'. The government will be able to say, 'It wasn't from overwork, because the worker's time didn't exceed the guidelines. It sure was a shame though'.

22 ( +22 / -0 )

So let's see... I'm the CEO of a major company, used to running my company like my own personal fiefdom.

Now the government says they're going to be 'serious' about capping overtime.

Well, I see two options in front of me:

One, I start 'suggesting' the increased use of undocumented overtime, or

Two, look at the math. If I have a worker doing 1000 hours of overtime a year, more than the 'emergency' situation that I'll use the heck out of, that means roughly 20 hours of overtime a week. If I do this, I'm fined by the government up to 300,000 yen (probably total, not per worker). This is slightly under 2 months salary for hiring a part timer to work those 20 hours a month for me. So even if it's 300,000 per worker, I'm getting 10 MONTHS worth of overtime for free out of my workers, compared to hiring a part timer to relieve their workload. And that's only if the government fine is for each worker, and not just levied for all the workers I have do this in my company.

Yeah... 300,000 yen is not going to cut it. $300,000 per worker maybe, but not 300,000 yen.

28 ( +28 / -0 )

Yes, employees already stay at their desks till late at night and then simply don't claim the overtime.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

(Good photo, though)

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I start 'suggesting' the increased use of undocumented overtime

Undocumented overtime is a very real issue in Japan as David Varnes points out. I would expect there is a number available I, as a worker, can call anonymously to report the company. At least the new "rule" starts making people aware of the issue.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I would expect there is a number available 

I would expect you are wrong. Documented overtime means that the company has a legal requirement to pay for it.

There used to be a time when employees, myself included lived for the overtime, back in the bubble, I made over double my regular monthly pay in overtime, but once the bubble popped, the overtime pay was one of the first things the company STOPPED paying for a time, and when they started paying again, was at roughly 0.25%, compared to nearly 200% prior to the stoppage

The company expected the same amount of work, and quite a few were magically able to get the same amount of work done, during regular working hours that used to take them 4 to 5 hours a day in overtime.

I used to have a "senpai" that would literally come to work at 0830, read the paper, drink coffee, chat with friends, go out to a long lunch, schedule an unnecessary meeting, sometime in the PM, and actually start working at around 1600 or so, and he used to give dirty looks to anyone who actually worked before that!

Those were the days!

16 ( +16 / -0 )

I bet a lot of employees will magically work "only" 99 hours of overtime a month from now on.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Corporate fines in Japan have always been far too low to act as a deterrent. Minimum wage for a full time English teacher in Japan has been ¥250,000 for decades. How will that deter a company?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Minimum wage for a full time English teacher in Japan has been ¥250,000 for decades. How will that deter a company?

A lot of English teachers make a lot less than that.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

A person's mind cannot stay alert after long working hours . . . rest is also needed.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

The fine of ¥300,000 for a large company is petty cash and won't be a deterrence. That much for a small company could cause it to go bankrupt.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Minimum wage for a full time English teacher in Japan has been ¥250,000 for decades. How will that deter a company?

Where in the world did you pull that number from? There is no "minimum" wage anywhere for a full-time English teacher, and I guarantee you that there would be plenty now that would literally jump at the opportunity to get that kind of pay today!

Many BOE's now pay a daily wage, between 6,000 and 12,000, depending upon the location, and they only end up working between 110 and 130 days a year.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

2019 and NOW a wishey washy law that might have as much teeth as a toothing baby. I know nuts take time to grow but they haven't even planted the tree yet. All I can say is grow some nuts. People are suffering, families are disfuncianal society is not benifiting from this culture of work, work, work.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Yubaru: When I first came to Japan, for a company to hire a full time person to teach English, and sponsor them with a working visa, this was a requirement. I don’t know if you have ever been a foreigner sponsored for a working visa to be employed in japan or not, but I did not pull that number out of a hat.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Didn't they have a similar cap a while back? Just another rule without teeth. The problem is not only that the cap is needed but that there are many Japanese people who are willingly working unpaid overtime each day and when I tell them they are working for a black company they say "no, its normal here". It is ingrained in the people's minds. The sooner people refuse to work unpaid overtime the better for this society.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I just did some looking on the net to see if I could confirm my memory was correct or not, and see that there does indeed seem to be a “national minimum annual salary of 3.4 million Yen (or $31,000 USD) for full-time foreign English teachers (including Eikawa schools) working in the country.” And if you have higher level degrees, it goes up. University ELT instructors make more, and Education degrees for teaching can be up to ¥600,000/mo. For full time of course.

The SAD thing is that in 1989 the minimum was exactly the same as it is in 2019.

The JET Programme pays about ¥280,000 per month which is exactly the same as it was 30 years ago.

Wages have not increased.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Like I have been saying for DECADES, Japan, just START ENFORCING labour laws!!

And yes companies need to fined amounts that make them WAKE UP!

Bottom line is this is another BS law designed to DESTROY society here, because like Cricky & others point out, family life is NOT so slowly literally dying in Japan & seems hell bent to get a LOT WORSE WTF!

But hey, soon we will have Reiwa…………….good bloody luck with that!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is just another law that will be ignored as much overtime is not recorded, yet the government does nothing.

Also, the fine of Y300000 is laughably small. It should be Y300000 for each hour of overtime worked that exceeds the cap. It's all very regrettable.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

When I take nice 10 day vacations I really wonder what my Japanese co-workers think. Are they angry I actually use my nenkyu? Are they jealous? Are the envious I have the "courage" to do so. I honestly think if I asked many of the staff who work 6 day weeks and 7 to 7 that they don't even know how to answer it. I bet you a 2000 yen bill they would say I am lucky even though they have the same nenkyu and the same rights as me at the same place of work.

(The JET Programme pays about ¥280,000 per month which is exactly the same as it was 30 years ago.) Not entirely true. Over a 5 year period it pays the same amount. But they have change the way it it paid. Year 1 through 5 used to be the same no matter what. Now year 1 is FAR lower and year 5 is FAR higher. It is to incentive people to stay because it costs a lot to bring over new JETs (airfare + the Tokyo hotel and orientation and transportation to their new prefecture is a TON of money). So year 1 JETs salary, the majority, is actually much lower than its ever been in its 30 year history.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This article is a great way to motivate my son to study English. I don't need to put the fear of God in him, just the fear of Abe. 'You'll be rolling that stone uphill just like orce.'Sisyphus, if you don't crack that English textbook and get the hell out of this Abe's work force'.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

The law limits overtime work to 45 hours a month and 360 hours a year in principle. The monthly cap can be extended in busy periods, for up to six months a year.

Even in such cases, the ultimate overtime cap of 100 hours a month and 720 hours a year is set. 

Capped at 45 hours per month 'in principle'? Can you have a law that is 'in principle'? That is not a law! By definition it is a guideline. The 'outer limit' of 100 hours is absolutely absurd. That adds up to nearly 7 weeks work @8 hours a day in a 4 week period. This is not about being busy. This is about employers screwing every bit of life out of their employees. And, how about that fine for overtime breeches? ¥300,000 is less than one employee's monthly salary. It should be at least ¥3 million yen.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Nothing will change as a result of this - as intended.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Please. My husband works for the government and they're the worst offender of them all... Not a damn thing will change.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Well, maybe it is a start. Reduce working hours and raise incomes. Then maybe Japanese will start getting married and having babies again. Just trying to be optimistic!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Can Japan balance their economy well without their super infamous overtime hours?

It's now, time to prove.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Its a start, but this is still going to be highly ineffective for a number of reasons.

1) Loyalty to the company means that few few will ever report excessive overtime requirements

2) May do overtime as a matter of obligation. If the boss is still working . . .then so are you.

3) If it is a single measly 300,000 yen per six months for the entire company, most would earn that in increased profits from one evening of company wide staff overtime. Start stinging them percentage points of their total revenue or profits to make it hurt.

4) If they can't get things done, big companies with then farm out the work to 'temporary employees', individual contractors or smaller businesses which are not subject to the rules.

Loop holes everywhere.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

a few years back, while working at a Red Cross hospital, a doctor dropped dead from overwork. I knew him. Another doctor who I never met also died from overwork. These are doctors!

usually, to my conversations with J friends, the company gives you a laptop. You go home late to your sleeping wife and children on the tatami mat in a separate room. Microwave your dinner and fire up the computer and keep working at home. This is overtime that can’t be tracked.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The government are not concerned or working towards making any improvement to making life an enjoyable option for "people" it's obvious focus is clawing every monicommon of profit it can from "people" then scold us for not having children, and being suprised and offended as to why, people are miserable. The stupidity of these laws are mind blowing. Yet smugly the creators of these guidelines seem to be unaware of the long term damage to society. The human cost is not even a fleeting thought.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

When fines for bad behavior are too low, as in this case, they are perceived as being a license to actually DO the bad behavior. The seminal book "Freakonomics" had cases of this exact behavior. One example was a day care center, which instituted a small fine for parents who picked up their kids late. The center found that the fine actually INCREASED the number of late parents, who saw the fine as a kind of moral bandage to cover their tardiness. Penalties that don't hurt actually seem to be condoning the bad action.

That, plus the mindset that "working long equals working well" will both need to change before any meaningful reform will be successful. I have friends who are scolded by their wives for coming home too early, and are told during holidays that they can't go outside their homes because "the neighbors might see you and get jealous".

6 ( +6 / -0 )

3 day weekends. Problem solved.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

3 day weekends...wasn't that a "Premium" Friday idea? Plus you have to make up that time off next week. The mind set is baffling. I'd like to think work to live rather than live to work.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And how about the equal human treatment between the Japanese co workers bullying or ijiwaru to foreign workers does labor laws aware of this?young and old japanese Japanese co workers shouting and insulting foreign workers while working and a little mistakes without a proper explanation kumakai no koto immediately they make ijiwaru to foreign workers.japanese women especially.Labor office should and must be aware of this or they tolerate this misbehavior against foreign workers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

3 day weekends...wasn't that a "Premium" Friday idea? Plus you have to make up that time off next week.

Premium Friday was just a stupid slogan trying to encourage employees to go home "early" on Friday (15:00). Completely different.

And why would you have to make up the time the next week? It's simply a policy change to 3 day weekends. People who work overtime, will continue to work overtime regardless if they work 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 days a week....It's more of a cultural problem than a "busy" problem.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What is working? Why do people work? People work for a living to support their daily lives and make a family. People do not live to work for a company (or government) that expects them to spend 90% of their lives at work.

At present, Japan is famous for its longevity of life. However, these people all grew up in the pre-war era and shortly thereafter. They did not grow up in the bubble and manufacturing boom of giving your life to your company. This longevity is destined to change within the next decade as the bubble era company slaves start to die off and will continue to decrease as those who worked through the post-bubble era start dying at earlier and earlier ages due to overwork.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's about time. And it should be that way in every nation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let's just translate this shall we.

You're still going to work the same amount of hours, if not more, but we're only going to pay you for 45 hours overtime a month max.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nothing will change.

Absolutely nothing.

Nothing more than a superficial, token gesture.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They did not grow up in the bubble and manufacturing boom of giving your life to your company. This longevity is destined to change within the next decade 

Even the people who devoted their lives to the company in the high-growth postwar era were at least rewarded for their efforts. People who began their working careers after the bubble have only seen move overwork, more uncompensated overtime, decreasing salaries, and decreasing opportunities. They're not going to have long lives.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nothing will change.

Absolutely nothing.

Nothing more than a superficial, token gesture.

So should they have not done anything instead?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Even in such cases, the ultimate overtime cap of 100 hours a month and 720 hours a year is set. Companies that violate the rules will be punished, possibly with a fine of 300,000 yen."

Good old Japan! 100 hours of overtime, which is already illegal, will be allowed. That means a person could work every single day of the month from morning until night time, and if they decide to commit suicide? Well, the company might have to pay less than what the regularly monthly salary would be (which would be a big discount because they don't have to pay for the dead anymore).

But, Japan does have a long history of enslaving people to help companies profit.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

When will Japan start with a serious modification to their work customs.

You need both parties to be willing in order for this schema to work.

The companies, of course, but without employees following, it wouldn't be possible. With labor shortage there is no excuse for an employee to eat dirt and not moving to somewhere else.

This change is cultural and one simple law to restrict working hours won't be enough.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just 2 days ago Monbusho released the results of a survey among all public schools, pointing out that the vast majority of them exceed the recommended annual lesson quota. At elementary school 1st grade, the students have about 70 hours over per year, by junior high school 2-3rd grade this goes up to 100 hours over. In short, the overtime culture is nurtured already at elementary school level.

And yes, it's common for workers, especially in more forward-thinking companies who allow their employees to work remotely on a laptop, to work late night at home or at their hotel during a business trip.

There are many complaints and lots of criticism every time this topic is brought up here, but there's also a lack of in-depth discussion about the roots of the problem. Indeed, it's cultural to a high extent, and young employees do it exactly as their old senpai did it in the 80s, but in my experience and observation so far, the direct reason is an enormous load of work that must be finished in very short deadlines, with all the typically Japanese maximalistic perfection and excessive attention to the smallest details. In my opinion, foreign workers would have to do just the same in order to complete the tasks properly under the same conditions.

The above conditions of performing tasks which companies readily accept, plus their unwillingness to hire 10 times more people (so that you'll have 1 worker do one task with a deadline tomorrow, not 10 tasks), is deeply rooted in the highly capitalistic mind of Japanese business. Sorry to bring the political views in, but I think the managers are just doing what a business running in a capitalistic environment is supposed to do - maximize the profits (accept and run 10 projects at the same time instead of 1) and minimize the costs (have 1 worker do the 10 projects instead of hiring 10 workers).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My partner has a 3 day weekend. Life is great. Friday’s we can go to town and do all the life chores, or go away to the beach or Taiwan etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the problem is companies here make you do undocumented overtime, of which there is no record and not accounted for. It is the unwritten rules that they can not change and probably never will change.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I just did some looking on the net to see if I could confirm my memory was correct or not, and see that there does indeed seem to be a “national minimum annual salary of 3.4 million Yen (or $31,000 USD) for full-time foreign English teachers (including Eikawa schools) working in the country.” And if you have higher level degrees, it goes up. University ELT instructors make more, and Education degrees for teaching can be up to ¥600,000/mo. For full time of course.

Link please!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How can so many people do the wrong thing?! "possibly with a fine of 300,000 yen" if they made 500 workers exceed their hours the company will make their money. This needs to be a lot stricter.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I just did some looking on the net to see if I could confirm my memory was correct or not, and see that there does indeed seem to be a “national minimum annual salary of 3.4 million Yen (or $31,000 USD) for full-time foreign English teachers (including Eikawa schools) working in the country.” And if you have higher level degrees, it goes up. University ELT instructors make more, and Education degrees for teaching can be up to ¥600,000/mo. For full time of course.

I have yet to see anyone provide any information other than "I read it on a net link" or "I heard it from someone" "proof" that there is any minimum!

I know for a fact that there are plenty of ALT's that make less, and that BOE's circumvent this so-called "law" and pay them a crap load less!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When I first came to Japan, for a company to hire a full time person to teach English, and sponsor them with a working visa, this was a requirement.

It was a requirement like 20 years ago. It hasn't been one in at least a decade.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I just did some looking on the net to see if I could confirm my memory was correct or not, and see that there does indeed seem to be a “national minimum annual salary of 3.4 million Yen (or $31,000 USD) for full-time foreign English teachers (including Eikawa schools) working in the country.”

Where did you see this?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So should they have not done anything instead?

Actually, yes, that is exactly what they should have done. That is exactly the point of meaningless, token gestures. To remove the pressure of doing anything meaningful.

"Yes, we worked to pass legislation to address this issue", while knowing full well it is meaningless.

The voters are appeased and the Keidanren can live with it.

Whereas, a meaningful action would have been to actually try to address the underlying issue, in ways that make the Keidanren extremely uncomfortable.

Which, of course, the LDP will never do!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So should they have not done anything instead?

.

Actually, yes, that is exactly what they should have done.

So you wouldn't have criticized them had they done nothing?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The cap, which only targets major companies for now...

In other words, it's a scam as there's legal-eagle "definitions" as to what actually constitutes as a "major company." Expect most labor companies to claim exemption from the rule, as they don't consider themselves as a "major company."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Goodlucktoyou

My partner has a 3 day weekend. Life is great. Friday’s we can go to town and do all the life chores, or go away to the beach or Taiwan etc.

Thanks for sharing that. ( - _ -)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Dear PM Abe,

Since you are so worried about labor shortages, please immediately eliminate the mandatory age retirement rule! Oh, and you could start with university professors, including part-time lecturers!

Many teachers get better with time and have much to contribute...look at Donald Keene or Noam Chomsky, for instance.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The issue with the fine is that it is a possibility. Meaning companies may not be fined at all. Also, if you have multiple employees that exceed the overtime limits, then it is a fine worth paying. Doesn't really put a dent. Also, this overtime work only covers those that actually do on the books overtime and receive payment for on the books overtime. This does nothing to discourage the amount of off the books overtime that many already do. Also, for companies that work by the book, management will now have to work a heavy burden because they are not limited on the amount of hours they work. 100 hours of overtime is not a small amount. That is averaging a week and a half worth of working time in a single week.

Also, several agencies have noted that this will also help absolve companies from the burden of worrying about overworking employees because if you stipulate the amount of hours and the law stipulates the amount of hours, then an employee "choosing" to work those over limit hours did so at their own peril.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So you wouldn't have criticized them had they done nothing?

Of course I would have!

And I would have said:

"Do something meaningful to address this!!"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They can go on passing emasculated laws and ‘guidelines’ all they like. The reality is that it’s just a sop to let people think they’re serious about addressing the situation, knowing full well that apart from a very brave few, the majority will fall into line and not rock the boat. Real change will only come when the international community puts them on notice that unpaid overtime is a structural impediment whose value can be calculated and then linked with tariffs that will be imposed on Japanese exports to the same value. There is no legitimate reason why Japan, which unashamedly flouts it’s own laws in order to gain an unfair competitive advantage should be allowed to continue undercutting foreign firms which are obliged to act in accordance with laws that have real teeth! Build that tariff wall!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan has a tight labor market with companies vying to secure labor amid the aging of its population.

During the decade + recession there was little evidence of a cut in overtime. In fact, the story seemed to be quite the opposite - they had to work harder during the recession for the good of the company.

Tr people who really benefit from (unpaid) overtime are the company owners. They love it, particularly if it can be painted in terms of Japanese culture.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Every year increasing social insurance ( Sakai Hoken) fee, none of has choice to say yes or no!!!

2nd Tax increment in Oct.2019

Wonder is their law stipulated to increase salary which bound to employer???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Since you are so worried about labor shortages, please immediately eliminate the mandatory age retirement rule! Oh, and you could start with university professors, including part-time lecturers! Many teachers get better with time and have much to contribute...look at Donald Keene or Noam Chomsky, for instance.

Private universities in Japan, set their own retirement ages. It is not mandated by the government. Some academics get better with age up to a certain point, but many do not. Letting senior academics soldier on means that many fewer places for younger scholars.

Well, maybe it is a start. Reduce working hours and raise incomes. Then maybe Japanese will start getting married and having babies again. Just trying to be optimistic!

Unlikely. Birth (fertility) rates are going down in the very affluent Nordic countries that have much shorter working hours and none of the factors usually used to explain the low (but rising) birth rate in Japan.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/01/21/world/social-issues-world/babies-wanted-nordic-countries-crying-kids-demographics-put-sinking-boat-japan/

And in this context it is worth noting that Okinawa, the poorest prefecture in Japan, has the highest fertility rate among all prefectures, and that fertility rate is at the top end of the European range.

But, Japan does have a long history of enslaving people to help companies profit.

It’s hardly enslavement when young people voluntarily seek out companies like Dentsu that are notorious for long hours. Further, at least for white collar workers, long hours are a postwar pattern. Pre-war white collars workers knocked off rather early, especially in the summer.

Real change will only come when the international community puts them on notice that unpaid overtime is a structural impediment whose value can be calculated and then linked with tariffs that will be imposed on Japanese exports to the same value. There is no legitimate reason why Japan, which unashamedly flouts it’s own laws in order to gain an unfair competitive advantage should be allowed to continue undercutting foreign firms which are obliged to act in accordance with laws that have real teeth! 

The long hours are primarily in domestic service industries, not in export oriented manufacturing industries. Further, in many export-oriented industries Japan is competing with Korea and China. Neither country is known for strong worker protection laws.

Europeans could use your argument against the United States. Compared to the larger European countries and especially the Nordic countries, the US has very weak labour laws and very lax enforcement.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

NATO, no action talk only easily done.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Overtime should be for busy times. Do not extend under any circumstances. Regular should be 6-8 hours a day, 4-5 days a week, 10 months a year. Max overtime hours I say should be 50 per year. Hire more people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

45 hrs per month ? Bliss... easy life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But I guess there's a catch... normal working hours will probably change from 7am to 11pm...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“The long hours are primarily in domestic service industries, not in export oriented manufacturing industries. Further, in many export-oriented industries Japan is competing with Korea and China. Neither country is known for strong worker protection laws.”

Long hours are endemic across the entire economy, including the export oriented firms. The service industry, being the most visible, is especially egregious in its exploitation of and disregard for workers rights but the export oriented sector is replete too with examples.

Imposing tariffs equal to the value of the unpaid ‘service’ overtime, which firms in other Western nations CANNOT avoid paying, will focus Japan’s Todai educated elites on the new reality, either they get with the program or they’re out the door. Not only the obvious exporters, but also serial abusers such as Dentsu, which has parlayed overtime cost savings into foreign market share should be put on notice.

To argue that export oriented firms are NOT serial abusers, only to then excuse them for being exactly that because otherwise they wouldn’t be able to compete with Asian sweat shops, you’ve completely undermined your own argument.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@savethrgaijin: why don't you consider a divorce then? This could be the root of depression mentioned elsewhere.

Just like young persons not marrying any more and women refusing to have children, I think young people will simply refuse to get a job in this madness.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is not the first time I've seen them say they'd like to introduce reform. The points are literally the same thing.

I mean, it obviously a joke to them since they've gone through the labor of defining and determining that we've over worked these 190 individuals to their deaths but never bothered to determine how can these cases be prevented, who did what wrong based on what (missing) guidelines.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Reckless

I could never. I love my husband and he's a wonderful man and father. His job is temporary and it's my job, as his wife, to support him during his troubles as he's always supported me. Yes his job has become one of the biggest sources of strife in our lives but it's just a necessary stepping stone in his career. It would be cruel to leave him when he is at his lowest, not that I would at all. For better or for worse they say.

His job wasn't like this at first, it's only become like this since Tokyo won the Olympics. Then the corrupt and cruel oyaji took over and changed the (previously uniquely liberal) working environment into the 80's style salaryman environment it is now. He's contracted until it's over and then he will be free again.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan will never change

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Depends upon the industry - not, just in Japan.... in some it's culturally embedded ( you work long hours, then you must be good ), in others... ( you work long hours, why ? )

The only difference, is that in Japan, for those Industries that are deemed to have long working hours as norm. when you break with the norm. you are immediately chastised or your colleagues will drop hints that you are not doing what is expected of you....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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