Dismissal Regulation in Japan

Ryo Kambayashi

March 2010


The purpose of this chapter is to take a closer look at the role of legal institutions and their impact on human capital accumulation using the Japanese case of dismissal regulation as an example. In the Japanese labor markets, so called the Doctrine of Abusive Dismissal has been thought to be responsible for controlling dismissal behaviors. With careful examination of court cases and statistics, this chapter shows, the Doctrine has grown out of industrial conflicts in the past and it has been useful in resolving disputes revolving around mass layoffs and, by fostering communication between management and labor regarding firms' business conditions, helped to smooth the rapid adjustment of employment in Japan. In other words, in order to achieve a relationship of mutual trust between employer and employees, the Doctrine created social norms encouraging the two sides to reach agreement within the workplace, firm, or organization. This guidance provided by the Doctrine contrasts with the direct constraints imposed on the contents of labor contracts by, for example, the Labor Standards Act.

Full text

PDF Download (PDF: 211KB)