Cutting-Edge Research
in Kyoto University


Improving the Employment Situation in Japan Pursuing the ideal of fulfilling employment for all.

Historical data: Japan’s unemployment rate (Seasonally adjusted series)

My research focuses on a historically-based analysis of the responses of economic agents such as the government, firms, and workers to ever-changing economic factors, such as fluctuations in growth, the decline of industries, and the turbulent international situation. I am particularly interested in the employment adjustment processes of postwar Japan, which were conducted both inside and outside the labor market. Until the 1980s, Japan had been largely successful in controlling its unemployment problem. Since the 1990s, however, as Japan faces such difficulties as an aging population combined with a low birth rate and global competition, unemployment levels have increased and working conditions have deteriorated. This is reflected in the casualization of employment and the lowering of wages. Through my research I have sought to highlight these issues and illustrate possible ways for Japan to achieve a more harmonious balance between different domestic labor groups, and also in the international community.

Junko Watanabe, PhD
Graduate School of Economics