I encourage everyone in Japan who is [non-Japanese] to join a union. I have. Lose the allergy and the visions of George Meany and Jimmy Hoffa, and realize it?s the only recourse you have in Japan to get your labor rights enforced. All other measures, as I have written in the past (http://www.debito.org/acadapartupdateoct05.html), be they the courts, the ministries, even the laws as written themselves, will not help you in a labor dispute.
Especially if you are a [non-Japanese]. Labor rights have been severely weakened over the past two decades, and the sooner you understand that and take appropriate measures, the more secure life you?re going to have in Japan.