Ministry of Labour building Since its establishment in 1947, Japan's Ministry of Labour has pursued the goals of securing employment and promoting worker welfare as well as contributing to economic expansion and the stability of national life. During this period the Japanese economy has achieved remarkable development and the country has come to occupy an important position in the international community.
      However, recently the Japanese economy has experienced recessionary conditions and the employment environment has been hit by hard times, with total unemployment at over 4%.
      Meanwhile, the medium- to long-term outlook indicates that the Japanese economy is changing drastically. For example, there is an increasing trend toward borderless economic activity, and the move toward fewer children per household as well as the aging population are proceeding at the highest rates in the world. Under such conditions, there is an increasing diversification of lifestyles, in addition to which occupations and the conventional employment structure are also changing.
      To achieve a society in which individuals can work comfortably, confident of a stable environment, the Ministry of Labour is actively promoting the following priority measures for FY1999:

  1. Promoting employment and human resource development policies to ensure a stable working life
  2. Developing programs to actively support an aging society and a society increasingly facing fewer children per household
  3. Providing a stable environment in which individuals can work and feel motivated, supported by good health
  4. Seeking to realize a society in which people can express individuality and a range of capabilities
  5. Promoting measures for internationalization
  6. Seeking improvement of the labor administrative system

This booklet outlines these and other issues and measures the Ministry of Labour is tackling.
      We hope this will help to broaden your understanding of Japan's labor administration.

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