The Daily Manila Shimbun


Many companies eyeing shorter working hours: Jiji survey

March 25, 2017

Tokyo- Seventy-two of some 80 major Japanese companies are considering or see it necessary to consider correcting long working hours, a Jiji Press survey on work style reforms showed Friday.

The survey found that tackling the issue is a pressing challenge for corporate Japan following recent revelations that many firms have forced employees to work illegally long hours.

With multiple answers allowed, the survey, conducted between late last month and early this month, covered 100 major companies, with 86 of them giving valid answers.

Fifty-six companies cited the need to create a better work environment for women and elderly people.

Asked about concrete measures, East Japan Railway Co. , or JR East, said that it is considering increasing nurseries at its offices.

Nippon Life Insurance Co. said it has a system that allows employees to continue working while raising children or taking care of family members needing support.

Beverage company Kirin Co. said it plans to expand telework and reform the mindsets of employees including male workers, while Mitsubishi Estate Co. cited a flex time program and an hourly paid leave system.

As an issue requiring discussions, 23 companies pointed to the establishment of an equal-pay-for-equal-work system for regular and nonregular employees.

Department store operator Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. cited an expansion of seminars on appropriate labor management according to job types.

Mobile phone carrier NTT Docomo Inc. said that it finds a need to consider promoting telework using information technology.

Forty-one companies in a wide range of industries, including the construction and distribution sectors, said they are thinking about promoting non-regular workers to regular employees.

This suggests that many companies believe it is necessary to improve work conditions for nonregular workers in order to secure staff amid labor shortages. Jiji Press