Departmental Bulletin Paper Elderly workers in Japan: the need for a new approach

Philippe, Debroux

40pp.19 - 37 , 2016-03-20 , 創価大学経営学会
Aging of workforce is a challenge for society, public authorities, and organizations. Employees\nstay longer in work-life and have a longer life-span after retirement. Public debt going alongside with\npopulation aging exerts a strong pressure on the whole social security system, but especially on the\nbalance of the pension schemes. So, policy makers are looking to higher employment rates for older\npeople and delayed retirement as means of supporting social security systems. However, efforts to\nprolong or sustain working life are increasingly understood in a broader and deeper perspective.\n In Japan as in Western Europe many people are not only able to work longer but they prefer and\nchoose to do so. Both public authorities and business acknowledge that to make the most of the\nexpertise and experience of older workers may be an important factor of economic growth and\nsocial stability (Bussollo and alii 2015). In view of Japan efforts for more than three decades, it\ncannot be denied that older workers have been high on the policy agenda in Japan. But it may now\nbe time to examine how the traditional win-win way of managing elderly employment is evolving\nunder the impact of demographics, the socio-cultural context, the regulatory environment and the\nsubsequent need for changes in the social security system, and if new approaches should not be\nnecessary.

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