This introductory chapter provides an overview of the rise of a nonregular workforce in Japan. Around the middle of the first decade of the 2000s, nonregular workers were identified as a key group whose members were suffering from low wages and insecure employment. As part of this growth in nonregular employment, Japan has also witnessed a growing number of workers' protests, which have both sought to highlight the plight of Japan's precarious workers and attempted to oppose and resist the new conditions that they were experiencing. Indeed, over the past twenty years, Japan has witnessed the emergence of a new form of labor activism. This book investigates the way in which Japanese capitalism has undergone a process of restructuring, with a particular focus on the workplace and how changing socioeconomic structures have affected workers. It explores how workers have responded and contributed to the construction of the Japanese political economy, as well as how the country's model of capitalism has been transformed as a result.
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