Cross Currents Home
Resources | About Us | 日本語サイト
Home Learn About Japan Learn About Japan-U.S. Cross Currents Learn About the U.S.

Two men in suits walking in a crosswalk.
  1. Group Employment Trips
  2. Spring Employment Season
  3. Hiring New Graduates
  4. Hiring New High School Graduates
  5. The Japanese Employment System
  6. Lifetime Employment
  7. The Seniority Wage System (nenkō joretsu)
  8. The Bonus System
  9. Enterprise Unions in Japan
  10. Enterprise Union Cooperation
  11. Unemployment Insurance
  12. Dual Tracks in Female Occupations: Ippan Shoku (Non-Career Track) and Sōgō Shoku (Career Track)
  13. Increase of Female Employees
  14. Female dominant occupations
  15. Post-Retirement Employment and Social Security
  16. Marriage Retirement and Retirement Ages for Men and Women
  17. Relations between Large and Small Companies
  18. Part-time Female Workers
  19. What Kinds of Work Do People Do in Japan?
  20. Freeter/ Furita: Part-Time Workers in Japan
Listen in English English | Japanese Japanese View Article in English | Japanese
Man in factory stands next to large tree he has just cut
A worker at a small wood furniture factory in Iwaizumi, Iwate, Japan.
Photo Courtesy of Iwaizumi Junbokukagaku.
Relations between Large and Small Companies
One way that large companies in Japan are able to provide employment security and strong benefits for their regular employees is by keeping their work force limited and maintaining extensive, long-term relationships with smaller companies that provide less employment security and less generous benefits to their workers. Sometimes these smaller companies are direct subsidiaries (kogaisha) of the parent company (oyagaisha) or are partially owned by it. In other cases they may be independently owned, but dependent on the large company to varying degrees. Long-term sub-contracting arrangements offer economic benefits to smaller companies, but they also protect the benefits and job security of the large company’s workers. In an economic downturn the large company can reduce its contracts to outside companies and subsidiaries instead of laying off its own regular employees. Subsidiaries also provide posts where the parent company can place regular workers who are entitled to managerial positions. Sometimes such posts are used to groom employees for even higher positions in the parent company, but sometimes they are also dead-end positions for expensive older employees. Such appoints also restrict promotion opportunities for the regular employees of the subsidiary who have no hope of moving into the parent company.
Special Terms: job security  |  contract

Download Podcast in English | Japanese
Document | Audio-Video | Chart | Picture | Map