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Economics / Business

The Economics of Work in Japan

(LTCB International Library Foundation 1995)

Kazuo Koike

This book presents an analysis of Japan’s labor economy stressing the way work is done and how human resources are managed.
The author has said that his work has two purposes.
The first is to show that Japan’s labor economy has much in common with other industrialized countries, despite native and foreign claims that Japan is unique.
The second is to indicate that some differences do exist and it is these which must be studied.
These include the means through which skills are formed, the nature of these skills, and intense competition that stimulates their formation.
Indeed, these arguments are central.
Japan’s labor economy is to an extent based upon this Japan-as-different argument.
These differences are compared and studied.
Permanent employment is examined through a comparison with such activities abroad.
The procedures of dismissal between Japan and other countries are compared, as is the role of labor unions.
It is concluded that the skill at the source of Japan’s competitiveness is the ability to deal effectively with problems and changes.
Efficiency does not increase merely because of the sophistication of equipment and machinery.
How well an enterprise responds to qualitative and quantitative change has a major effect on efficiency.

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