When I was growing up, beef was very expensive in Japan and in general people couldn't eat it very often. When I ate an orange for the first time, I was amazed by its unique citrus flavor, similar to but strangely different from the taste of mikan tangerines.
Nowadays, Japan domestic beef is more expensive than imported beef. Consumers benefit from lower prices, and they can choose from either expensive Japanese beef or reasonably priced Australian or American beef. As deregulation continues and import barriers are removed, not only are prices falling, but also the number of alternatives is increasing. Consumers can choose high quality items with a range of prices and have their broad needs fulfilled.
The process of globalization of human resources, money and products is likely to accelerate. Due to the recent progress of globalization, low value-added work is increasingly shifting to ‘emerging’ countries. On the other hand, with Japan having the fastest-aging population and a declining birth rate, the Japanese labor market is very likely to open up and to take in a young labor force from overseas.
This means that the human resources market in Japan in the 21st century will follow the same pattern that the beef and orange markets did in the 20th century.
With this opening up of the market, there will be increased competition. We have to be prepared for a shift in the human resources market. Some people are worried about cultural friction, while at the same time we can expect that higher diversity will promote economic growth.
As the liquidity of the labor market increases, competent and motivated people can find work where they are needed, outside of the Japanese conventional employment system (with its “lifetime employment” system, seniority-based wages, and annual “batch” recruitment of new college graduates).
Keenly aware of these ongoing changes, Lifework Advance will help global professionals and skilled workers find more challenging and rewarding career opportunities.