The main aim of this article is to discuss the role of labour policy in causing the rapid increase in the number of temporary jobs focusing on the Temporary Work Law (1985) in Japan: the formal name is Law for Securing the Proper Operation of Worker Dispatching Undertakings and Improved Working Conditions for Dispatched Workers. It particularly attempts to answer three questions: why and how was it legislated?, and what kind of impact has it had on the labour market of our time? The conclusions are as follows: First, the paradigm of labour policy has changed since the 1980's，under the influence of economic change, the free-work theory and new labour market theory. Some of the policy targets, including the promotion of external labour market and temporary work，were pursued in the middle of the 1980's. Second, although almost all foregoing studies sounded rather simple，the process of legislating the Temporary Work Law was actually complicated. The initiative was neither taken solely by the bureaucrat nor by the business interest. In the first place, interested groups demanded legislation of the Law for the protection of temporary workers, and then business groups checked the process. So, the Temporary Work Law became patchy in the end. Third, the labour market for temporary job has fexpanded considerably since legislation. However, the Ministry of Labour missed the policy targets. Because the job market for professionals was not developed properly and most temporary workers were still young, female and non-profession.
From Migrant Worker to Commuter —— The Changing Situation of Migrant Worker of Sake Brewing at Koshiji-cho, Niigata —— Mitsuya Iga (Niigata University) I examined the process of change from migrant worker to commuter in sake brewing. It was found that it related to the introduction of continuous flow process production at breweries and the industrialization of rural villages. There were a great number of migrant workers in Niigata Prefecture before World War Ⅱ . But, the number of part-time farmers increased and the number of migrant workers decreased rapidly with the rural village industrialization after the 1970's. Sake brewing workers, who accounted for nearly half of migrant workers in 1995 in Niigata Prefecture, aged and decreased in number. Corresponding to this, brewing makers introduced continuous flow process production, and began to adopt brewing workers in their own districts. The class of peasant proprietors, who cultivate rice in summer, and go out to sake brewing work in winter, differentiates into new upper farmers who farm on a large scale, and small landowner workers who do not farm and are employed in nonagricultural sectors. Now, sake brewing workers no longer work away from the prefecture. And more and more they commute to their breweries.
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the conditions of the labor-life and acculturation of “Dekasegi”-Brazilians and Japanese workers in an automotive wire harness manufacturing plant. The production of automotive wire harness is a typically labor-intensive process. The number of orders received from a principal contractor company changes sharply based on the thorough “Just in Time” production system. Then, the firm begins production with the local regular employees and part-time workers during the low season and copes with the increased orders received in the busy term by hiring temporary workers including Brazilians. The results of our investigation indicate some problems as follows; Japanese laborers were suffering due to low wages and the prolonged intensive labor. Moreover the closure of a factory involved with production overseas was now causing great uneasiness among them. On the other hand, Brazilians were stationed in the work place without of any evaluation their past careers and experiences, and were also discharged in a short period of time. It is possible to say that simple diagrams, such as “Japanese=majority (strength)”, and “foreigner=minority (weakness)”, are not accepted or rather, there is complication of a North-South gap in the proceeding of globalization and hollowing out of local industry. Another thing to note is that a stable reliance / cooperation relationship was formed between Japanese and Brazilians in the workplace. Both groups reflected upon each other's view of life and society, and thought that they had changed and grown in such a relationship. But most Japanese laborers were indifferent to the frequent dismissal of Brazilians. Among Brazilian employees, there were conflict of interests and competition, and they have not united. After our investigation, this firm failed to keep up with the international competition and was closed.
In the Japanese history of labor, the historical fact that “the skilled worker has not materialized as a social category” often attracted attention to explain why laborers were not moving from one company to another in heavy industry after World War I. This historical fact has mainly been explained by technical factors or historical factors of the continuity of laborer groups from pre-modern society. However, these explanations did not clarify theoretically how the abovementioned factors work in fact on the institutional level of the labor-management relation, which were developed by the people of those days. In this paper, I take the Ironworkers Union as an example to explain how the various components of this particular organization had expressed what, I termed, 'active consciousness' for technology and the social position of laborer groups. In particular, I concentrate on the labor dispute, which broke out at the Japanese Railway Company, in which laborers stressed that their skills did relate to their status as members in the company. In the process, I demonstrate the kind of political consent, which was formed between the interest of operating the organization, and the interest of the skilled individuals.