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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien


German Institute for Japanese Studies
〒102-0072 Tokyo, 3-3-6 Kudan Minami, Chiyoda-ku



Admission free. Since seating is limited, please register with Ms. Asano (Fax 03-3222-5420 or at the German Institute for Japanese Studies by November 20 (please give your name, affiliation and phone number). Please register early so as to avoid congestions. For questions please call Rene Haak 03-3222-5077 (

The Changing Structure of Labor in Japan - Japanese Human Resource Management between Continuity and Innovation


What changes can be observed in the labor market? What is special about the Japanese-style human resource management in the low-growth era, and what are the responses by Japanese and German firms?
The structure of the Japanese labor market is gradually changing in terms of both supply and demand. On the one hand the symposium will discuss the major supply-side factors, which include for example the rapid influx of women into the labor force, the aging of the working population and the trend toward higher education. On the other hand the symposium will consider continuity and changes in employment patterns like the expansion of flexible types of employment (part-time workers, arubaito, home workers etc.) and the specific innovations of the distinctive features of Japanese-style human resource management (HRM): for example, the “three sacred treasures” of lifetime employment, seniority promotion (promotion according to age and length of service), and the stability offered by having enterprise trade unions. Special attention will be paid to the question of how these three treasures were strategically integrated in an innovative Japanese-style human resource management.

Supported by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany


13.00 - 13.15
Opening and Greetings



Rainer Schlageter, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

13.15 - 13.20



13.20 - 14.00
Key Note Speech

The Structure of Japanese Labor Market - an Overview

Tadashi Hanami, Sophia University

14.00 - 15.00
Session I


Dennis S. Tachiki, Tamagawa University

Employment Adjustment after the Financial Crises in 1997/98

Michio Nitta, Tokyo University

Revision of Pension System and Employment Issues Involving Workers in Their 60s

Hiroyuki Fujimura, Hosei University

Flexible Labour Markets and Individualised Employment: The Beginnings of a New Japanese HRM System

John Benson, University of Melbourne

15.00 - 15.20
Coffee Break

15.20 - 16.20
Session II


Haruo Horaguchi, Hosei University

Employment Restructuring in Japan

Hiromasa Suzuki, Waseda University

BASF - HR Management of a Global Player in Japan

Markus Falk, BASF South East Asia Regional Headquarters BASF

The Volkswagen Group's Worldwide Management System

Hauke Bruhn, Volkswagen Group Japan KK

16.20 - 17.20
Session III




Between Human Resource Management and Corporate Governance: Changes in the Top Management Structure of Japanese Corporations



Human Resource Management in Japanese SM Enterprise - Challenges and Success Factors

Shigeru Matsushima, Hosei University

Beyond the Skill-Grading System

Philippe Debroux, Soka University

17.20 - 18.20
Session IV




Contesting Time - International Comparisons of Employee Control of Working Time

Peter Berg, Michigan State University

Challenges for Japanese HR Mangement in the Low-Growth Era - From the Viewpoints of Changing the Retirement Bonus and Education

Yoshiaki Takahashi, Chuo University

Changing Patterns of School to Work Transition and the Structure of Labour Markets

Helmut Demes, University of Duisburg-Essen

Final Remarks