On Tuesday, February 23rd, the 21st Century Japan Politics and Society Initiative (21JPSI*) hosted Professor Hiroshi Ono (Hitotsubashi University Business School) for a (virtual) public talk and discussion about Japan’s labor market response to Covid-19, work culture, and difficulties implementing telework policies.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Ono presented his research aiming to answer the question of why teleworking remains relatively scarce in Japan, despite the disruptions caused by Covid-19. He argued that Japan’s work culture, not its technological infrastructure (which is quite good), is the primary barrier limiting the spread of teleworking. Dr. Ono highlighted how structural rigidities favoring in-person business transactions, tendencies toward micromanagement, and Japan’s collectivist culture pose barriers. Finally, he argued that transitioning to telework can reduce costs and improve worker morale by giving employees more flexibility and the option to work remotely.
After concluding his remarks, Dr. Ono engaged in a brief discussion with 21JPSI Director Adam Liff and Professor Hilary Holbrow, followed by an open Q&A with the audience of over 110 faculty, students, and community members from Indiana, Japan, and around the world.
21JPSI programming note: Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, all events will be held exclusively online for the foreseeable future. To learn more, please check out our calendar of upcoming public webinars and sign up for our event announcement mailing list!
*The 21st Century Japan Politics and Society Initiative (21JPSI) was launched at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies in 2018. Under the leadership of Founding Director and HLS faculty member Adam Liff, 21JPSI aims to invigorate and expand research, teaching, and programming on contemporary Japanese politics, society, and international (esp. U.S.-Japan) relations, and to educate, raise awareness, and debate policy responses to the various political, social, and foreign policy challenges that Japan faces in this extremely dynamic era of 21st-century change. Supported by a generous $900,000 grant from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, in its first five years 21JPSI has enabled a new tenure-track faculty search; new courses on contemporary Japan; a speaker series on Japanese Politics and Society; biennial conferences and webinars on U.S.-Japan relations; graduate research fellowships, and faculty travel grants. For more information, please see https://jpsi.indiana.edu/ or write to firstname.lastname@example.org