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Contesting Precarity in JapanThe Rise of Nonregular Workers and the New Policy Dissensus$
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Saori Shibata

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749926

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749926.001.0001

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Precarious Labor and the Contestation of Policymaking in Japan

Precarious Labor and the Contestation of Policymaking in Japan

(p.90) 5 Precarious Labor and the Contestation of Policymaking in Japan
Contesting Precarity in Japan

Saori Shibata

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the impact of Japan's precarious workers' movement on policymaking in Japan, highlighting three cases through which one can witness the effects of opposition mobilized by Japanese nonregular workers on policy outcomes. In each case, one witnesses political elites being forced to respond to successful mobilizations by precarious workers and organizations that have emerged to represent their interests. These mobilizations have served to attract public attention to the impact that neoliberal government policy has on precarious workers. When faced with criticism and opposition from the public, on each occasion governments were forced either to compromise on policy goals or proposals or to abolish or postpone policies to reduce criticism. While precarious workers were not always able to achieve all of their goals, collectively they have become an important actor that is able to gain concessions or raise significant obstacles to the implementation of neoliberal policy options so that their demands must be accommodated in some way.

Keywords:   Japanese labor movement, Japanese policymaking, Japan, Japanese nonregular workers, political elites, neoliberal government policy, neoliberal policy options

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