Japanese labor markets provide a stark illustration of how varied labor practices can be in other industrialized nations, as well as some dangers in attempting to enhance employment stability.
Since the 1950s, Japan’s labor markets have been characterized by several distinctive features. Perhaps the most notable among them is “lifetime employment,” the practice at large firms of hiring workers directly out of school and retaining them until a mandatory retirement age (originally age 55, now around 60 for most companies). The lifetime guarantee is implicit, with no written contracts, but real nevertheless and estimated to cover about a third of all workers. Rather than hiring midcareer managers or blue-collar workers from the outside, firms promote exclusively from within.
[John Bolton’s statement that the North Koreans “have not lived up to the commitments” made in Singapore] totally cuts Secretary of State Pompeo and the special representative, Steve Biegun, at the knees. What is the incentive for North Korea to actually talk about the meat-and-potatoes of denuclearization with the special representative and with the secretary of state if the national security adviser has said nothing is happening so we have to go straight to the top?