Aged Workers in Japan


Japan has the world's oldest population. This research project explores who aged workers are in Japan and the role of law in regulating their employment.


Project Background and Aims

In recent decades Japan’s low birth rate and life expectancy has made it the world’s oldest country. Nearly 20 per cent of Japan’s workforce of 66.73 million people are aged over 60 years. This research seeks to explore who Japanese aged workers are and how they are regulated. Aged workers in Japan involve a mix of sarariman (salaried worker) in large Japanese corporations and other Japanese in non-standard forms of employment. The regulation of aged Japanese workers by the Japanese Government began in the 1970s and focuses on employees in corporations. This regulation will be analysed, as well as the regulation of aged workers in non-standard forms of employment. The aim of this research is to not only enhance the understanding of the role of law and corporate practices in regulating the work of aged workers in Japan but to also see what regulatory lessons can be learned for other countries with ageing workforces.


This research is a comparative project that will examine the regulation of aged workers in Japan. It will use a doctrinal approach by assessing the laws that govern the regulation of workers aged overs 60 years.


This research is being presented at the Labour Law Research Network conference in June 2019.