ILO Office for Japan Interview Series: Future of Work #1-#3

The Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training (JILPT) and the ILO co-organized the Forum on the Future of Work in Japan on 12 May 2017.  The Forum discussions focused on key factors including technological innovations and aging population with declining birthrate, which are expected bring significant changes in the world of work.

*The full report on the Forum is available from here. ---

After the Forum, the ILO Office for Japan conducted in-depth interviews with three of the leading scholars and practitioners on the issues in Japan who were also coordinator / speaker / panelists in the Forum.

Interview articles #1-#3 

#1 “Future of Employment in the Age of Artificial Intelligence”

Ms. Reiko Kanda
Executive Vice President, Nippon Institute for Research Advancement (NIRA)

#2 "Opportunities and Challenges for Flexible Work Styles in Digital Economy

Mr. Keiichiro Hamaguchi
Research Director General, Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training (JILPT)

#3 "From Employment Security to Career Security in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Prof. Shinya Ouchi
Professor of Law, Kobe University Graduate School of Law

The interviews particularly focused and built on the below key messages from the Forum.

  • The speed and scale of today’s technological advances increase the importance of continuous education and training throughout one’s career.
  • If new work styles, such as new types of self-employment and freelance work, expand, it becomes critical to review the concept of labour law as well as the framework for social protection and collective mechanisms to represent workers’ voices.

Points mentioned by Ms. Kanda include issues that need to be addressed in order for the future of employment to benefit from AI such as the need to promote the sense of self-reliance as well as to share added value created by AI with workers.

Mr. Hamaguchi talked about the effect of digital economy in creating flexible work styles in Japan from the historical and comparative perspectives, as well as about how the ongoing Work Style Reform currently vigorously pursued by the Government of Japan affects work style flexibility in different dimensions. 

Prof. Ouchi touched on the importance of intellectual creativity and self-education as well as the need for increased support to self-employed workers. They all shared their views on roles expected of the ILO in the changing world of work.