College Graduates in Japanese Industries
June 17, 2003 / 6.30 P.M.
Takenori Inoki (Professor, International Research Center for Japanese Studies)
From 1994 to 1997, I conducted a joint study with an academic group to compare Japanese, U.S. and German systems of nurturing university graduate white-collar workers. The study, which aimed at illustrating the characteristics of the practices of employing, educating and training white-collar workers in Japan, revealed that the academic background of Japanese corporate managers (division and section managers) is lower than that of their American and German counterparts. This tendency also holds true for public employees.
In the market of economists, Japan is not yet ready to provide competent talent, though international organizations and research institutions place high expectations on contributions from Japan. The number of legal professionals, including patent lawyers, is also low in Japan, with the result that settlements of legal disputes take a long time. The same is true for journalism. Japanese media organizations employ competent graduates of four-year colleges, but have yet to develop educational and training systems for enhancing journalistic professionalism. In several fields, Japan is less committed than other industrialized countries to nurturing professional employees.
Inoki Takenori is professor at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyōto and professor emeritus at Ōsaka University. He earned his Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1974 and specializes in labor economics, the history of economic thought and recently in questions relating to human resources and the reform of the Japanese civil service. He is author of Aspects of German Peasant Emigration to the U.S., 1815-1914 (Arno Press, 1981); Keizai shisō (Economic thought, Iwanami Shoten, 1987); Keizai seichō no kajitsu: 1955-1972 Chūō Kōron Shinsha, 2000); and co-editor of Jinzai keisei no kokusai hikaku (1987, English edition Skill Formation in Japan and Southeast Asia, University of Tokyo Press, 1991); ‘Tenshoku’ no keizaigaku (The economics of ‘job transfer’, Tōkyō Keizai Shinpōsha, 2001).