Japan's Worker Co-operative Movement into the 21st Century

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the Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus

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Marshall, Robert C.
Woker cooperatives; Women's worker collectives; Japan Worker's Cooperative Union; Anthropology; Social and Cultural Anthropology; Producer cooperatives--Japan--21st century; articles
article description
The pace of Japan’s economy is picking up again after more than a decade of stasis. During this long period of economic stagnation, the many personnel practices favoring employees known by the rubric “lifetime employment” have been subjected to increased criticism by pro-investor, neo-liberal voices. Yet other less-well-amplified voices in Japan offer an alternative criticism of, and look for opportunity in, the changing status quo as well. In the last quarter of the 20th century efforts to create worker-owned and democratically governed businesses in Japan began to emerge with the support of a wide variety of economic actors -- among them labor unions and union organizers, consumer cooperatives, income-seeking housewives, the elderly, employees of small businesses, farmers and farm workers, employees of failing firms and maverick employees of large firms. And as worker owned and managed businesses have increased in size and number, their awareness of each other and their common interest in alternative ways to organize production has also grown.