Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Japan's Corporations Resort to Bullying

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Japan's Corporations Resort to Bullying

Article excerpt

Hideaki Wada says his new boss rewarded him for his success in a novel way: He slashed his pay by 20 percent, demoted him as company sales chief and put him in charge of a doomed project.

Wada, who blames corporate jealousy for his fall, says he's the object of a two-year campaign to bully him out of his job.

"I can't stand it," said the 38-year-old salesman, who has worked for the same sports equipment company for 13 years. "I know I have to do something - I just don't want to quit now." Wada is among thousands of Japanese white-collar workers who say they are victims of a rising and increasingly vicious wave of corporate bullying. Until now, the bullying talked about in Japan happened in the country's competitive schools, where awkward students can be picked on ruthlessly by their peers. Bullying has driven some students to suicide. But critics say the bullying doesn't stop with graduation. Company bosses and co-workers resort to the same adolescent tactics to harass colleagues and, with growing frequency, to trim costs by forcing unwanted workers to quit, critics say. Bullied workers claim they are targets of nasty rumors, arbitrary pay cuts and sometimes physical violence. …

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