Two decades of economic stagnation and rising insecurity have unleashed work-based "new-type depression" in Japan.
Today I continue to explore the theme that Japan's two decades of economic stagnation may offer guidelines for what lies ahead "for the rest of us" as the global malaise deepens in the years ahead. I have been a student of Japan for 40 years, having studied the language, history, literature, geography and art/film, in university and thereafter. We have many Japanese friends and have visited a number of times. (I have also been a student of the Chinese and Korean cultures.)
Japan is quite different from the U.S. and Europe, with a homogeneous populace and a culture rooted in Confucian values and social hierarchies. Despite the many differences, including definitions of depression, I think it is self-evident that the rising insecurity and workplace changes in Japan result from long-term economic stagnation.
With 26% of companies reporting NTD in their workforces, it is widely viewed as a threat to Corporate Japan.
“It is a generation that faces a situation in which the balance between responsibility and authority is broken,” says Mr Imai. “Also, in the past, there used to be a senpai-kohai [older worker, younger worker] system, where more experienced staff mentored their subordinates, but now everyone is equal, so everyone is alone,” he says.More than 26 per cent of businesses surveyed last year by the health ministry said they had cases of workers resigning or taking leave of more than one month for mental health reasons. This was up from just 7.6 per cent in a survey conducted three years before. The bulk of those businesses, or 84 per cent of respondents, said problems of mental health affected their business performance negatively.
Resistance, Revolution, Liberation: A Model for Positive Change (print $25)
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We are like passengers on the Titanic ten minutes after its fatal encounter with the iceberg: though our financial system seems unsinkable, its reliance on debt and financialization has already doomed it.We cannot know when the Central State and financial system will destabilize, we only know they will destabilize. We cannot know which of the State’s fast-rising debts and obligations will be renounced; we only know they will be renounced in one fashion or another.
The process of the unsustainable collapsing and a new, more sustainable model emerging is called revolution.Rather than being powerless, we hold the fundamental building blocks of power. We need neither permission nor political change to liberate ourselves. A powerless individual becomes powerful when he renounces the lies and complicity that enable the doomed Status Quo’s dominance.
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