Who tells workers what to do, therefore, is a critical starting point for a great deal of Japanese employment law and regulation.
Imagine you are in a fast-food restaurant ordering a hamburger. So long as you are just looking to pay ¥500 for a hamburger and a side of fries, you are a client and the restaurant is a provider of goods (the hamburger) and services (food preparation). However, if you go into the kitchen and start telling the restaurant workers when to flip the patties and how many pieces of lettuce to put on each bun, you are starting to act like an employer.
For those not involved in big business in Japan, this all comes down to a very long-winded explanation of why some foreign language assistants may have come to find themselves in the odd position of being told not to coordinate lesson plans with or take instructions from the Japanese teachers they are supposed to be assisting. This is the relentlessly logical result mandated by the regime described in this article, as it would apply to foreign English teachers employed by commercial language schools who subcontract them out to public schools that don’t want to or can’t afford to hire ALTs directly. After all, a public school teacher telling an ALT subcontractor what to in class is not very different from the employment relationship the public school was probably trying to avoid in the first place.