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Labor Market in Japan

Demographic change and globalization processes have had an impact on how the economy is structured and how and by whom production is accomplished. The diversification of labor markets is a global phenomenon, and generally refers to two aspects: (a) to the types of employment, and (b) to the composition of the working population. This project incorporates both themes in our investigation and examines how the diversification in terms of the types of employment and the diversification in the composition of the working population impact each other. Groups that are directly influenced by these shifting dynamics compose the core of our subjects of inquiry: women, youth, immigrants, disabled people, and the elderly in Japan’s labor market. The project was initiated as a joint research and teaching activity with partnering faculty members and students from Waseda University.

Principle Researcher: Gabriele Vogt
Associated Researchers: Anne-Sophie L. König, Stefanie Schwarte 
Collaborator:
 Vincent Lesch (Aarhus University)

Grants:

  • German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Grant for cooperation with Waseda University, 2016-2019
  • German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ): PhD scholarship (Lesch, 2017), visiting fellowship (Vogt, 2018)

Selected publications:

Monographs:

Lesch, V. (2019): Nonprofit Education in Japan: NPO-led Career Guidance at Metropolitan Senior High Schools. Hamburg: ediss.sub.hamburg

Vogt, G. (2018): Population Aging and International Health-Caregiver Migration to Japan. Cham: Springer Briefs in Population Studies.

Journal papers and book chapters:

  • König, A.-S. L. (2020): Der Standortwechsel des Tsukiji Großmarkts in Tōkyō: Staatliche Risikokommunikation und ihre Wahrnehmung bei den Händlern. In: Chiavacci, David and Iris Wieczorek (eds.): Japan 2020: Politik, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, pp. 69-100.
  • Schwarte, S. (2020): Japans Mindestlohnbewegung: Social Movement Unionism am Beispiel von Aequitas. In: Chiavacci, David and Iris Wieczorek (eds.): Japan 2020: Politik, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, pp. 101-129.
  • Kreitz-Sandberg, S. and V. Lesch (2019): Die Entwicklung der sozialwissenschaftlichen Diskussion über Schulabsentismus in Japan: Neue Trends oder ein altes Phänomen? In: Chiavacci, David and Iris Wieczorek (eds.): Japan 2019: Politik, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, pp. 262-299.
  • Vogt, G. (2017): Multiculturalism and trust in Japan: educational policies and schooling practices. In: Japan Forum, 29, 1, pp. 77-99.

Media contributions:

Selected events:

International symposium, workshops and conference panel:

  • Diversification of Japan’s Labor Market: Risks and Opportunities in a Multidisciplinary and Comparative Perspective. At: LMU Munich, 2019/12/12-13, Munich, Germany.
  • Long-Term Care in Dialogue: Best Practice from Japan and Germany. In cooperation with Japanese-German Center Berlin (JDZB), 2019/05/28, Hamburg.
  • Diversification of Japan’s Labor Market. At Waseda University, 2018/10/05, Tokyo, Japan.
  • International Migration of Health-Care Professionals in the Asia-Pacific Region. At: IPSA/AISP 25th World Congress of Political Science (organizer of a panel including the following speakers/commentators: Atsuko Abe, David Arase, Wako Asato, Dominic Diocera, Lesleyanne Hawthorne, Reiko Ogawa), 2018/07/21-25, Brisbane/Australia.
  • Diversity in the Japanese Labor Market: Challenges and Opportunities. At: Waseda University, 2016/12/13-14, Tokyo, Japan.
  • How Japan works: Risks and Opportunities of a Diversifying Labor Market. At: Hamburg University, 2016/07/18-21, Hamburg, Germany.

Presentations:

  • COVID-19 and the Revival of Japan’s “Closed Country” Strategy. At: The Politics of Sanitizing Space and (Im)Mobility, City University of Hong Kong and Queen Mary University of London, 2021/11/05-06, Online.
  • COVID-19 and the Future of Labor Mobility and Health in Asia (panel discussion). At: The Future of Transnational Migrant Labor and Global Health Governance in Asia, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Japan, 2021/11/04, Online.
  • Robotik und Technologie in Japans Altenpflege. At: University of Heidelberg, 2021/06/30, Online. (König and Vogt)
  • Managing Migration in Japan: Short-term Labour, Tourists, and International Students (panel commentator). At: Association for Asian Studies Virtual Annual Conference, 2021/03/22, Online. (Vogt)
  • Prospects for Union Revitalization through Social Movement Unionism: The Case of the Minimum Wage Movement in Japan. At: LMU Munich, International Workshop, 2019/12/13, Munich. (Schwarte)
  • Communicating Risk to the Fish Market at the Center of the World. At: LMU Munich, International Workshop, 2019/12/13, Munich. (König)
  • Non-Profit Education: NPO-led Career Guidance at Senior High Schools. At: VSJF Section on Education, 2018/11/24, Berlin. (Lesch)
  • Communicating Risk to the Fish Market at the Center of the World. At: VSJF Urban and Regional Studies Section, 2018/11/24, Berlin (König).
  • Unions’ Involvement in the Minimum Wage Movement: Can Social Movement Unionism Revitalize the Labor Movement in Japan? At: VSJF Politics Section, 2018/11/24, Berlin. (Schwarte)
  • Communicating Risk to the Fish Market at the Center of the World. At: Waseda University, International Workshop 3, 2018/10/05, Tokyo. (König)
  • Labor Unions and Minimum Wage in Japan. At: Waseda University, International Workshop 3, 2018/10/05, Tokyo. (Schwarte)
  • Health-Care Professionals on the Global Labor Market: A Comparative Study of (Non-)Migration Policies in Japan and Germany. At: Monash University, Japanese Studies Centre, 2018/07/17, Melbourne. (Vogt)
  • Population Aging and International Health-Caregiver Migration to Japan. At: Waseda University, Graduate School for Asia Pacific Studies (GSAPS), 2018/03/05, Tokyo. (Vogt)
  • Education and Deregulation – The Consumption of Education and its Effects on Employment Trajectories for Japanese High School Graduates. At: Waseda University, International Workshop, 2016/12/13, Tokyo. (Lesch)
  • Policies Designed to Fail: Health-Caregiver Migration to Japan and Germany. At: Hamburg University, International Workshop, 2016/07/21, Hamburg. (Vogt)
  • Who Are We Fighting For? Labor Unions and Irregular Employees in Japan and Germany. At: Hamburg University, International Workshop, 2016/07/20, Hamburg. (Schwarte)
  • Education and Deregulation − Employment Trajectories for Young Japanese from Poor Educational Backgrounds. At: Hamburg University, International Workshop, 2016/07/19, Hamburg. (Lesch)