Sets the stage for the analysis in the rest of the book. There is a review of Japan’s long recession, and the thesis is put forward that rising labour costs due to yen appreciation, the downturn of the 1990s, and changes in corporate governance that have made firms more sensitive to profits have all pushed firms to look for ways of lowering their labour costs through greater use of atypical forms of labour. Also discusses the difficulty in finding a single point at which the labour economy may have seen a structural break.
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