Maison Franco-japonaise: 日仏会館 Institut français de recherche sur le Japon à la Maison franco-japonaise (Umifre 19, MEAE-CNRS)

Langue:JA / FR


vendredi 20 novembre 2020

Lunch Seminar on Japanese Economy

Diversification as Stratification. Work-Style Reform and its Consequences on Inequality in Japan

en anglais sans traduction
vendredi 20 novembre 2020 / 12:30–14:00
IMAI Jun (Sophia University)
*Inscription close.


The standard employment centrism shapes the direction of stratification in Japan. In this presentation, I will pick up the recent develpments of labor management in Japan including work-style reform. Diversification of work-style is one of the major initiatives of the reform, which is supposed to narrow the gap between regular and non-regular employment as well as to allow workers to work more flexibly in order to solve the problems of work-life balance. Under such circumstances, Japanese companies began to segment regular employment into various types of “restricted” regular workers (gentei seishain), in much the same way as they found ippanshoku and jun-sogoshoku tracks in the 1980s and the 1990s. They are called “restricted” since they do not accept unlimited flexibilities required by employers with regard to the scope of job rotation and regional transfer and working time that core regular workers need to accept. Some regular workers change their track from core regular to resricted regular due to their, for instance, care needs at home, or non-regular workers would be hired in this career track as the revised Labor Contract Law (in effect since 2013) mandates companies to secure unlimited term contract to the non-regular workers with long-enough tenure. The establishment of these career tracks reveals that Japanese companies (and even workers) see the ability to accept flexibilities of working time, (functional and regional) mobilities within a firm as important but tacit, taken-for-granted criteria of evaluating their employees, which have been the central features of the regular employment. The fact that these new tracks are associated to inferior wages and promotion prospect means that the diversification is in fact the stratification of workers based on the extent of worker commitment to the flexibilties.



Jun Imai (Ph.D. in Sociology, SUNY Stony Brook) is Professor of Sociology at Sophia University in Tokyo. Before joining Sophia, he taught at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany and Tohoku University and Hokkaido University in Japan. His major field of research is the development of employment relations and its impacts on social inequalities.

Moderator: Adrienne SALA (FRIJ-MFJ)
Organization: IFRJ-MFJ
Co-organization: CCIFJ France Japon
Support: Ambassade de France au Japon

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