#Futureofwork

First discussion on the Report of the Global Commission on the Future of Work held in Japan

A tripartite panel discussion on the future of work highlighted the relevance of the Report of the ILO's Global Commission on the Future of Work in the context of Japan's labour market. Japan’s tripartite constituents acknowledged the necessity of social dialogue to promote human-centred agenda and revitalize the social contract in the world of work.

News | 01 February 2019
Ms. Deborah Greenfield, ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy, delivering keynote speech © Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare 2019

TOKYO (ILO News) - The ILO Office for Japan and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) co-organized the Symposium Commemorating the ILO Centenary on 1st February 2019 in Tokyo, following the launch of the Report of the Global Commission on the Future of Work. This is considered to be the first national tripartite reflections on the Global Commission Report, with the presence of Ms. Deborah Greenfield, ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy, and Professor Atsushi Seike, a member of the Global Commission and former President of Keio University.

Following the opening remarks by national tripartite constituents — Ms. Emiko Takagai, State Minister of MHLW; Mr. Rikio Kozu, President of Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC-RENGO); and Mr. Tsuyoshi Okamoto, Vice Chair, Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) — Ms. Greenfield introduced the context and content of the Global Commission Report, while Prof. Seike shared his views concerning the implications of the Report for Japan's national context.

Ms. Greenfield stated that: "The Report calls for a human-centred agenda for the future of work. The recommendations are designed to put people and work at the centre of economic and social policies as well as business practices." She concluded that the Report is just a beginning of journey, and a brighter future depends on our choices. Prof. Seike, Commissioner, commented that: "Lifelong active society and lifelong learning are two sides of the same coin, thus one cannot be achieved without the other one."

Professor Atsushi Seike, member of the Global Commission on the Future of Work, delivering keynote speech © Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan 2019

The tripartite panel discussion following the keynote speeches and the case reports of work style reform, dedicated to four areas: regulating long working hours; implementing new forms of work such as teleworking; improving working conditions of part-time workers; and promoting the employment of older workers. The discussion also focused on a number of more specific issues, including a human-centred agenda, a human-in-command approach for the use of technology, skills development, and reinvigoration of the social contract. All representatives of the tripartite constituents in panel found values in the Global Commission report. Panel members re-acknowledged the importance and necessity of social dialogue to deal with disruptive future of work.

Case reports of efforts on the Work Style Reform © Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan 2019

In her closing remark, Ms. Akiko Taguchi, Director of ILO Office for Japan, quoted the remark of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-45), who described the foundation of the ILO is "a wild dream", and she concluded by saying, "we need to realize another wild dream this time, it is to implement this human-centred agenda for a brighter future of work."

Tripartite panel discussion © Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan 2019

This event marks the beginning of a new chapter — the reflection on the Global Commission's Report by member states and social partners according to their own national contexts. Following Japan's national event, a series of national Centenary events will be convened by member states throughout the year as important inputs and contribution to the ILO's Centenary International Labour Conference in June 2019.