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Reforms needed to support changes in work styles

  • August 3, 2016
  • , Nikkei , p. 4
  • Translation

On Aug. 2, a Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare advisory panel composed of experts released proposals with a focus on work styles in 2035. Work styles are expected to change as Japan harnesses new technologies to overcome its population decline. The MHLW proposed that the tax system and social security will have to be altered to suit these changes. That same day, the MHLW set up headquarters that will consider concrete measures for the individual proposals.


With the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI), information technology (IT), and other technologies, the report predicts that flexible work styles will become possible as restrictions regarding the place and hours of work are eliminated. It also points out that the current social security system sets standards for joining based on number of hours worked and there is a chance that such a system will no longer match the reality of work. The report says that the tax system and social security must be reformed so that they do not hinder changes in work styles.


Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Yasuhisa Shiozaki expressed enthusiasm for the proposals, saying, “We will organize the proposals into those we can take immediate action on and those that are medium and long term in nature and then move toward implementation.”

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