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Japan: Easing of Labor Regulations Worsened Income Gaps - Gov't Report
Source: japantoday.com
Source Date: Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Focus: Information Access, E-Participation
Country: Japan
Created: Aug 09, 2010

The government’s easing of regulations on the dispatch of workers and companies’ cost-cutting efforts have led to a worsening in income gaps among Japanese people, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said in an annual report on labor released Tuesday. Such moves, including lifting the limit on fields in which workers can be dispatched, have resulted in an increase in the number of nonregular workers, such as part-timers, seasonal workers and temporary staff, the 2010 White Paper on the Labor Economy said.

The document said long and stable employment is an effective way to achieve economic growth, noting the importance of human resource development in terms of enhancing the ability to add value to goods and services. The report, comparing employees’ annual incomes in 1997 with those in 2007, said the country saw a rise in the proportion of low-income workers with annual incomes of between 1 million yen and the mid-2 million yen level during the 10-year period.

During that decade, major corporations increased nonregular employees, which led to a rise in the number of low-income workers, a worsening of income gaps and also eventually a slowdown in the growth of people’s incomes and consumption, it said.
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