I have been working at Aoyama Gakuin Women’s Junior College in Tokyo for the last nine years and there I have the chair of some lectures about economics and “contemporary society”. I got ph. D. in economics at University of Tokyo in 2004 and originally I was engaged in the research of economic history in the 20th century. But my research field was gradually changing from history to the present state of affairs, especially in labor and employment since I became the employee. That may be because I always contact many young (women) students and have the opportunity of observing many problems surrounding them, for example, job-hunting, plan for lifelong career, expected low wages and so on.
Japan has many problems on labor and employment currently. On the one hand working population begins to diminish because of the low birth rate and longevity. “Abenomics” earnestly encourages women and (spry) aged person to work outside to make up for this decrease. On the other hand there is the great social and economic gap between the full-time and part-time workers. Since the collapse of the bubble economy at the beginning of 1990s, the rate of part-time workers in the working population have grown precipitously. Especially young people have gradually less opportunities to get the status of full-time worker as it used to be and this in turn promotes the low birth rate thorough delayed marriage and unmarried. My research project at IIAS is to seek for some clue for the resolution of these problems by comparative study between the Netherlands and Japan, especially focusing on the part-time job. The Netherlands is well-known for the economic recovery through the positive usage of part-time job since 1980s. My main interest is as follows: Can Japan get over these problems through the more positive usage of part-time job than now the same way as the Netherlands? If so, how should Japan assimilate that in accordance with the traditional institution such as lifelong employment and seniority based wage system?