Japan and Other Countries Global Employment Discrimination Derailing the Global Markets the Offer Matches Demand Rhetoric – 12/11/2014

For Your Entertainment (FYE)

Honne and tatemae are Japanese words that describe the contrast between a person’s true feelings and desires (本音 honne?)and the behavior and opinions one displays in public (建前 tatemae?, lit. “façade”).”

“Honne may be contrary to what is expected by society or what is required according to one’s position and circumstances, and they are often kept hidden, except with one’s closest friends. Tatemae is what is expected by society and required according to one’s position and circumstances, and these may or may not match one’s honne. These terms are equivalent to the common concept of public and private face which is very much a part of Japanese culture.”

“The honne–tatemae divide is considered by some to be of paramount importance in Japanese culture.”

“Faced with a dwindling population and severe labor shortage, Japan aims to attract more foreign workers, but a rapidly depreciating yen and lack of rights stand in the way.
Faced with a dwindling population and severe labor shortage, Japan aims to attract more foreign workers, but a rapidly depreciating yen and lack of rights stand in the way.”

” Two large publicly-financed construction projects – the ongoing reconstruction of the northeast region hit by the 2011 earthquake and the construction of venues for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – have brought the issue into focus. Japan’s construction industry faces a shortfall of 230,000 workers in 2015, government statistics show.”

“Japan’s ageing population and low birth rates further underscore the need for labor. The population shrank for the third straight year in 2013, according to the Internal Affairs Ministry, and is projected to shrink by a third by 2060, increasing the need to import caretakers for children and the elderly, especially if housewives – traditionally caretakers in Japan – are expected to join the workforce.”

” But voters find immigration unpalatable. Just 12 percent of respondents in the most recent government survey feel there should be more foreign workers. “

“As a result, Abe’s ruling party insists there is “no immigration policy,” just a plan to “expand the utilization of foreign talent,” in its manifesto for this Sunday’s national elections.”

” “The government and voters have a hard time accepting temporary foreign workers, let alone permanent immigrants,” said Eriko Suzuki, associate professor at Kokushikan University.
“But the population decline cannot not be reversed without immigrants,” he said. ”

“To attract more workers, the government seeks to reform and expand the central pillar of its guest worker policy: the Technical Intern Training Program – an initiative that provides technical skills training to youth and adult workers from developing countries for a specific period. “

“But the system is so widely abused by Japanese employers that the U.S. Department of State condemned it as “forced labor” in its annual “Trafficking in Persons” report.”

“”It’s a charade calling them interns – Japanese employers are just exploiting them as cheap labor,” said Shoichi Ibusuki, a leading labor rights lawyer who has represented interns in court.

“Still, the government is tightening oversight of the system and is taking tentative steps to introduce broader work permits”, he said. “

“Interns are paid around 100,000 yen, or around $838, more than half of which is deducted for living expenses, according to Ibusuki. They are often forced to work long hours, sometimes more than 100 hours of overtime, cannot change jobs and must leave Japan if they quit. “

“Many interns quit when they learn they’re being paid half of what Japanese interns would earn.”

“In 2013, just over 50,000 “trainees”, mostly from China and Vietnam, were working in Japan, 2,822 of which were reported missing to the government agency that oversees the program.”

“Will supply meet the demand?”

“While experts say there is a supply of migrants across Asia, the question is whether the kind of skilled workers Japan wants will choose the country over other equally developed nations, such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan.”

“Kiyoto Tanno, professor at Tokyo Metropolitan University, doesn’t think so: “Japanese wages are no longer attractive for those with at least a high school education.” “

This is also the same story if you are a “gaijin” from the USA or Europe with a graduate or post-graduate university education, global work experience, but, speaks only “conversational” Japanese………

Despite all the “official” efforts to “teach” English, supposedly in preparation for the next “Tourists Tsunami” coming for the Olympics, among other “official” reasons to make the English language learning more “palatable” to the local Japanese population, Japan is a “Japanese only” spoken and written language and cultural and civilizational country……..

Don’t be fooled by the Baseball and American Football matches results and the English language “fashionable interjections”, in the local Japanese conversation, it is still all “tatemae”s…….

Japan, also, needs to reconcile the diverse understandings of the word “gaijin”……..
“Gaijin (外人?[ɡaiʤiɴ]) (literally and originally meaning “outside person”) is a Japanese word for “foreigner,” “non-Japanese”, “alien,” “outsider” or “different.” The word is composed of two kanjigai[gai] (?), meaning “outside”; and jin (?), meaning “person.” There are similarly composed words to refer to foreign things, most fundamentally gaikoku[gaikoku] (外国?, foreign country), but also to various other things such as the common words gaisha[gaiʃa] (外車?, foreign car), gaika (外貨?, foreign cash), and gaitame[gaitame] (外為?, foreign exchange). The word can refer to nationalityrace, or ethnicity, but in Japanese these are generally conflated.”

Some modern commentators feel that the word is now negative or pejorative in connotation and thus offensive. Other observers say the word can also be used neutrally or positively. One scholar suggests that the term has become controversial and is avoided now by most Japanese television broadcasters. The uncontroversial, if slightly formal, gaikokujin (外国人?, foreign-country person), is commonly used instead. However, even gaikokujin is avoided by some people, who might use the honorific form gaikoku no kata (外国の方?, gentleman/woman of a foreign country) instead. Similarly, some people might not use gaisha(foreign car), but use gaikoku no kuruma (foreign countries’ cars) if they receive interviews and have to speak in front of TV cameras.”

After all that, you wonder how “Deming” and “Juran” left their marks in the “Toyota Production System (TPS)” and “Kaizen”(“5S”, “kanban”, “andon”, “poka yoke”)……

Even though, today, in the new Japanese “politically correct” (PC) narrative, you will be hard pressed to find references to “gaijin””Deming” and “gaijin””Juran”. They have been replaced by Taiichi Ohno, and Eiji Toyoda, that are much more “politically correct” (PC) in a “xenophobic” Japan…….

Xenophobia is the unreasoned fear of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange. Xenophobia can manifest itself in many ways involving the relations and perceptions of an ingroup towards an outgroup, including a fear of losing identity, suspicion of its activities, aggression, and desire to eliminate its presence to secure a presumed purity. Xenophobia can also be exhibited in the form of an “uncritical exaltation of another culture” in which a culture is ascribed “an unreal, stereotyped and exotic quality”.Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action urges all governments to take immediate measures and to develop strong policies to prevent and combat all forms and manifestations of racism, xenophobia or related intolerance, where necessary by enactment of appropriate legislation including penal measure.”



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