From corporate-centred security to flexicurity in Japan
During the time of post-war high economic growth and in the aftermath of the first oil crisis, Japan developed its current employment system based on the practice of long-term employment. Security in the labour market was thus designed on the premise of (male breadwinners’) stable employment. Corresponding labour market institutions emerged in order to reinforce this model. The market liberalization and corporate governance reforms of the 1990s, however, affected corporate behaviour and challenged the traditionally stable employment system and led to a remarkable rise of non-regular employment that has put the traditional security provisions in the labour market under strain. The current pattern of labour market segmentation weakens the foundations for economic growth and decent work. The Japanese labour market is required to identify new types of security that correspond to the needs of businesses for workforce adjustment and the new risks that workers face in a more flexible labour market. As in many developed countries, readjusting the balance between flexibility and security in the labour market appears to be the main challenge in labour market policy-making. The present paper provides insights into the capacity of the “flexicurity” model to provide for a balanced alternative to the model presently in practice.
Employment security / conditions of employment / labour flexibility / Japan
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