Copyright (c) 2007 Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal
Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal
ARTICLE: CHANGING EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES, CORPORATE GOVERNANCE, AND THE ROLE OF LABOR LAW IN JAPAN
28 Comp. Lab. L. & Pol'y J. 251
Takashi Araki +
Deregulation, decentralization, and flexibilization are common phenomena found in labor law systems in almost all nations across the globe. 1 The experience of the fundamental reforms of the Australian labor law system since the 1990s can be seen as a typical example. 2 Such fundamental changes in labor law systems are caused by various complex factors such as economic pressures and intensified competition caused by the global market, structural changes from secondary to tertiary industry, technological developments that change the nature of work, individualization and diversification of the workforce, demographic changes, etc.
Japanese labor law systems are also exposed to the same factors that affect labor relations. However, the responses of Japanese labor law are very different from those in other countries. In Japan, decentralization of industrial relations is seldom discussed because Japanese industrial relations were decentralized from the outset. Flexibilization is sometimes requested by Japanese employers who see the restrictions on dismissals as too rigid, but functional flexibility, flexible deployment and flexible adjustment of terms and conditions of employment, are commonplace in the internal labor market in Japanese companies. Deregulation certainly characterizes Japan's politics and the economy in the 1990s. However, as far as labor law is concerned, deregulation has occurred only in labor market regulations, whereas regulatory intensification occurred in areas such as discrimination regulations, privacy protection, whistleblowers' protection, work/life balance policy, and employment security.
Compared with the fundamental or revolutionary reforms that have occurred in Australia or New Zealand in the ...
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