BY HIFUMI OKUNUKI
NOV 26, 2014
The prevalence of the employment custom of saiyō naitei (tentative job offers) may well be peculiar to Japan. As I touched upon in my March 27, 2012, column, university juniors and seniors skip class to attend work seminars, company orientations, internships and, finally, a series of tests and interviews with prospective employers.
Universities wholeheartedly approve of this shūkatsu job-hunting mania and are therefore quite lenient about attendance, assignments and other mere scholastic responsibilities. If things go well, seniors find themselves the lucky recipients of a saiyō naitei — an early promise of employment to begin the first April after graduation.
On May 25, a man wielding a saw attacked and wounded 19-year-old Rina Kawaei and 18-year-old Anna Iriyama, two members of bumper girl group AKB48, and a male staffer at an event where fans get to shake hands with their AKB idols.
Fortunately the injuries were minor, but fans were shocked. The victims and their AKB48 comrades must have been terrified.
My first Labor Pains column of the new fiscal year will look at the government’s recent proposal for bringing in foreign workers.
Various proposals on easing immigration restrictions for foreign workers have been bandied about in recent years, but they were inevitably scrapped because “Japan is but a tiny island nation.” (In fact, Japan is the fifth-largest island nation in the world, after Australia, Indonesia, Madagascar and Papua New Guinea.) Incidentally, there are currently 2.03 million foreign residents and more than 700,000 foreign workers in Japan, so the country is already quite multinational and multiethnic in composition.
By Hifumi Okunuki Last month, a new ANA commercial hit the airwaves — and quickly ran into some serious turbulence. The scene is Haneda Airport. Two Japanese men dressed as pilots stand with their backs to the camera. “Haneda has more international flights nowadays,” says one. “Finally,” replies the other. “Next stop, Vancouver,” the first man says. … Read more
BY HIFUMI OKUNUKI First of all, I would like to wish a happy new year to all the readers of Labor Pains. While labor news has generally been a gloomy topic of late, it is my hope that this year will bring brighter things for me to write about. As I draft this first column … Read more