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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
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University students in suits form two long lines to get information about work
University students line up to receive information at a company briefing.
Photo from Mainichi Shimbun.
Hiring New Graduates
With their strong tradition of lifetime employment, large Japanese companies rarely fire regular employees. Therefore, hiring new graduates has been an important practice for these companies. Usually Japanese college students have already decided where they will work long before graduation. They start seeking jobs over a year before graduation; participate in job seminars held by companies and visit alumni from the same college who work at the company they are targeting. These former students are considered their “senpai” or seniors. On the other side, companies assign employees who have recently graduated from college as recruiters and have them invite talented students from their own college, their “kohai,” to apply. These early hiring activities are called “aota gai” (buying a green rice paddy). To prevent early hiring from getting out of hand, in 1952 the government introduced the Employment Agreement which sets the starting dates for visiting companies, selecting candidates, and offering positions. However, many companies secretly started the hiring process earlier. It was not unusual for a company to make an informal job offer earlier than the specified job offer date. With the changing economy and globalization the Employment Agreement was abolished in1997. Recently, following Western companies, some Japanese companies have introduced the internship system to diversify Japanese hiring practices.
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