quote of the day

The Japanese working style is the root of all evils. All the problems stem from it.


Takao Komine, a professor of economics at Hosei University, referring to a growing schism in Japanese society - those with full-time jobs with health care and pensions; and those in temporary or contract work with no benefits or job security. (Bloomberg)

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Hear,hear. Straight and to the point. Drop the mic and go home.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Huh? This has nothing to do with working style. I want to see how this was said in Japanese.

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

I think the point is people are generally all yes and no no so there's little pushback against companies that take advantage of workers. That's the working style here that causes problems. Immense, systemic problems throughout every phase of society. But hey, at least someone can tell me that "We Japanese work harder than any other people!" speech and cite the shorter length of vacation times in countries with higher birthrates and ranking on the happiness index as why those countries are full of lazy bums.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Oops... LONGER length of vacation times.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yep. Dying economy, lack of innovation across the board, lack of change in general, general dissatisfaction with the state of affairs (check the OECD numbers - not pretty), poor pay rates, zero workers' rights, depression, health issues (on average, only 8% of working adults in Tokyo are deemed 'healthy' in their annual clinical) declining population, low birth rate, household issues, money issues, workplace bullying, school bullying (because father's are largely never around to deal with it) broken marriages, omiai / goukon woes (a lot of singles out there!) and last but not least - the old boys' club. All can be attributed to the corporate culture here. All of it.

6 ( +6 / -0 )


Huh? This has nothing to do with working style

1) Unpaid "mandatory" overtime (Sure, don't technically have to work, but good luck not getting ostracized and/or good luck getting a promotion if you don't)

2) Buy our products! And prove you did it! Please spend at least 50,000 yen ok? (Ok, you don't have to buy our products...but please see #1)

3) Want to take vacation? 1 day is enough right? 1 Week!? (Insert teeth sucking and glaring from co-workers here)

4) Wait, a baby? Sure, we'll give you maternity leave, but you have to transfer to Osaka to keep your job..oh? You can't? Then you have to quit (and by quitting we don't have to give you maternity leave!)

....you don't see how the above are directly related to not having children, having too little free time, demeaning women in the workplace and/or ridiculously STUPID business practices? I mean, I know if I could force my employees to buy my crappy products I wouldn't have to innovate either.

Also, #4 actually happened to my wife. We went all the way up to higher management kicking and screaming; eventually to their head office in the States (American Brand)

9 ( +9 / -0 )

dagon- You said it!

I applaud you Komine san!!!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The two-tiered workforce is a result of the "market reforms" that are supposed to rescue Japan, remember? And they're working so well to boost the economy (warning: ironic comment).

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I want to see how this was said in Japanese.


Here is the quote in Japanese: 「日本型の働き方は諸悪の根源で、すべての問題がそこに集約されている」

Here is a link to the Bloomberg article (in Japanese) この時給ではやっていけない-非正規4割、どこへ行く日本の雇用: http://www.bloomberg.co.jp/news/123-NZ4LXT6JTSE801.html

Rough translation of the title: Impossible to make ends meet on an hourly wage — with part-time and temporary employees now making up 40% of the labor force, where is employment in Japan headed?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

JeffLeeDEC. 18, 2015 - 11:14AM JST The two-tiered workforce is a result of the "market reforms" that are supposed to rescue Japan, remember? And they're working so well to boost the economy (warning: ironic comment).

That's not really fair- the Japanese market never truly reformed. The fact that permanent employment even still exists is proof of that.

What we're seeing here is a hybrid system. On one hand, you've got the traditional Japanese style of employment, where people on full-time contracts suck up tons of benefits, and then you've got everyone else on temp contracts representing the "free market". Which is obviously never going to work.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Remember these employment trends were started by PM Koizumi, who wanted to refashion the Japanese economy to run like the US economy. He loosened the empoyment laws to make it easier to fire. And there was the rise of outsourcing. So what do you expect. Japan is becoming like the US. And don't think Abe is really going to change any of this. He is only interested in making Japan "normal" by remilitarizing it and make his granpa proud.

0 ( +2 / -2 )


0 ( +0 / -0 )


on average, only 8% of working adults in Tokyo are deemed 'healthy' in their annual clinical

Something smells distinctly fishy about that unsourced figure.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

On this subject, I'll only say that I was lucky to retire from wearing a suit (in Canada) at the ripe old age of 46, and I've traveled to Japan for at least three months every year since then - 16 of them - to visit very close friends and watch their children grow up while they had no job security. I don't like what I see. It's not 'free market' labour-management philosophy and it's not good for the development of a population with a declining birthrate. It's top-down abuse by tradition. And tradition will lose, as will the poor people who fight against it..

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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