Aspects of Japan's Labor Problems

Aspects of Japan's Labor Problems

Aspects of Japan's Labor Problems

Aspects of Japan's Labor Problems

Excerpt

The rise of the labor movement is one of the most significant phenomena in post-war Japan. While many changes have come about as a result of external pressure applied by the occupation forces, the rapid growth of labor organization is the product of Japanese initiative. The labor movement has attained considerable economic strength, and has made itself felt as a political force. Torn between conflicting factions, it is still uncertain of its course and direction. Moreover, it has yet to prove its staying power in severe adversity. It is the first popular movement of mass proportions to appear in modern Japan. Whether it will prove to be a democratic force as the word is understood in the West remains to be seen.

In the following chapters no attempt has been made to give a complete account of the post-war Japanese labor movement. Such a book, which is badly needed, would require further extensive first-hand investigation in Japan. The author's aim has been merely to make available to students of Japan certain materials on the object which have been collected in no very systematic fashion. They deal chiefly, though not entirely, with the initial phases of occupation labor policy and with labor activity in the first year and a half after the surrender. Most of the material has been assembled from official SCAP publications and Japanese press reports, supplemented by private information and some first-hand obser-

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