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NEWS
October 12, 1990 | KARL SCHOENBERGER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Japan's myth of social harmony took a devastating blow last week when rioting erupted among day laborers in the country's largest skid row. Once the smoke cleared over the weekend, after four days of violence in Osaka's seedy Kamagasaki district, the monolithic Japanese media pointed a collective finger at police corruption as the cause of the rare disturbance.
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SCIENCE
March 16, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Authorities battling the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant have doubled the number of workers on the site to 100 in an effort to continue cooling the three reactors and the spent fuel pools but have abandoned — at least temporarily — plans to use helicopters to dump water on the pools because of the radiation danger. Police may now use water cannons to spray the pools. FOR THE RECORD: Atomic agency official: An earlier version of the article incorrectly spelled the first name of Yukia Amano, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, as Yukio.
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BUSINESS
April 6, 1990 | SAM JAMESON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Settlement of two brief strikes Thursday all but concluded Japan's annual "spring wage offensive," which is expected to bring an average increase of 5.8% for Japanese workers. Employees of nine railway companies shut down commuter service for about an hour but were back on the job in time for the morning rush. Union officials and executives of the companies had negotiated through the night. In the end, management agreed to raise wages by 6.87%, or $110.83 a month.
NEWS
September 24, 2000 | VALERIE REITMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Whenever he wants to make his legendary Olympic equipment, master craftsman Masahisa Tsujitani simply heads downstairs to a workshop about the size of a two-car garage. The 67-year-old hunches over his lathe and, with the skilled eye of a jeweler, the steady hand of a surgeon and the seasoning of an athlete, grinds the cast-iron mass into a sphere with grooves almost as fine as a fingerprint.
BUSINESS
June 9, 1988 | From Reuters
Japan's labor ministry Wednesday approved a plan to try to get Japanese workers to stop working so hard. A labor ministry spokesman said Japanese work an average of 2,111 hours a year, compared to 1,900 hours for their counterparts in the United States and Britain and 1,600 hours in West Germany and France. The spokesman, who admitted working an average of about 2,800 hours a year, said the five-year plan aimed to bring Japanese working hours down to about 1,800 hours a year by 1992.
NEWS
March 30, 1993 | Reuters
Japan's labor office ruled Monday that a middle-age supermarket attendant who died after working 360 days in a row was not a victim of karoshi, or death from overwork. Labor inspectors in Yokohama ruled that the 43-year-old man was not sick seven days before his death, so his family was not entitled to compensation. A claim filed by his widow, Yuji Iguchi, said he worked 360 days during 1989.
NEWS
November 21, 1987 | Associated Press
Japan's labor unions Friday formed a nationwide federation in a bid to stem decades of declining membership and to rekindle their drive to shorten the 48-hour workweek and improve working conditions. Sixty-two unions from four federations merged into a single united front to try to boost the clout of a movement hurt by the apathy of an increasingly affluent and white-collar worker pool.
NEWS
December 15, 1992 | Associated Press
Japan's new labor minister said Monday that Japan and Germany have strong economies because their people work more than Americans and workers in other industrialized nations. The remarks by Labor Minister Masakuni Murakami were reminiscent of comments by Japanese officials that irked trading partners by seeming to criticize work habits in Japan's economic rivals. Murakami also was wrong as far as Germany is concerned.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 12, 1999 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For nearly three years during World War II, Lester I. Tenney shoveled for 12 hours a day as a prisoner of war laboring half a mile underground, stripping the last scraps of coal from a Japanese mine deemed too dangerous for civilian workers. "Many times, we knew how the war was going by how we were beaten," Tenney, a retired college professor who lives in San Diego, recalled Wednesday. If things were going well for the Allies, the beatings were harsher, he said.
BUSINESS
April 25, 1999 | MARK MAGNIER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
TOKYO In a nation where quiet, patient suffering is raised to the level of a fine art, 58-year-old Kiyotsugu Shitara is preaching revolt. His 5-year-old Tokyo Manager's Union urges Japan's downtrodden "salarymen" to stand up and fight. Downtrodden? Middle-aged white-collar workers who average $50,000 a year to sit in cozy offices without any heavy lifting? The way Shitara sees it, this group at the heart of Japan Inc. is among the least represented, most alienated in Japanese society.
BUSINESS
October 27, 1998 | MARK MAGNIER and STUART SILVERSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Are the Japanese, long portrayed as among the world's worst workaholics, starting to kick back and relax? Not exactly. But a new Japanese Labor Ministry survey shows that the nation's average full-time workweek has fallen below 40 hours for the first time in the three decades that the government has kept track.
BUSINESS
October 24, 1998 | Associated Press
The minimum workweek for full-time employees in Japan in 1997 was reported to have fallen below 40 hours for the first time since the government started tracking the statistic in 1966. Weekly fixed working hours at private companies that responded to a Labor Ministry survey fell on average 1 1/4 hours from 1996 to 39 1/2 hours, Kyodo news agency reported.
BUSINESS
July 20, 1998 | YURI KAGEYAMA, ASSOCIATED PRESS
In the 1980s, the notoriously hard-working Japanese coined a term to describe workers who die suddenly after putting in extremely long hours. The word is "karoshi," or death from overwork. Japan has a new word for the '90s: "karojisatsu," suicides from overwork. Spurred by an economic slide throughout the decade, the number of such suicides has swelled to an estimated 1,000 or more a year, according to a group of lawyers involved in lawsuits over work-related deaths.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 4, 1998 | PATRICK J. McDONNELL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Contradicting widespread fears that an increasingly high-tech economy is squeezing out low-skilled immigrants, a new study has concluded that even computer-products manufacturers and other information-age businesses will continue to need new arrivals with little education and skill.
NEWS
February 4, 1992 | TERESA WATANABE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
On the fifth floor of the Japan Productivity Center in Shibuya, Tamisaburo Sasaki stabbed a finger in the air and sputtered: "It's all misinformation!" All around him, the Japanese press, politicians and public have been perpetuating the image of lazy, inefficient and non-productive Americans. They paint a picture of America on the slippery slope of decline. Television flashes images of drugs and crime; newspapers spin out story after story on shoddy U.S. products.
BUSINESS
January 24, 1994 | DAVID HOLLEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In a new assault on Japan's slowly eroding system of lifetime employment, Toyota Motor Corp. says it will begin hiring experienced automotive designers on a contract basis. Previously, such work has been done by permanent employees hired after college graduation who worked their way up in the company. But the new employees--who may be of any age and nationality--will be hired on the basis of experience and offered merit-based rather than seniority-based pay increases.
BUSINESS
May 2, 1998 | From Associated Press
Average wages and household spending in Japan fell in March, with the country's economic troubles hitting blue-collar workers the hardest, the government said Friday. The average monthly salary declined for the eighth straight month to $2,374, 1.5% less than last year when inflation is taken into account, the Labor Ministry said. For the fiscal year ended March 31, salaries fell 1.2%, their first decline in four years. Working-class households saw monthly salaries drop 2.
NEWS
April 17, 1998 | SONNI EFRON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
As a recession-busting idea, it sounds deceptively easy: Move the dates of four national holidays to give overworked Japanese some three-day weekends and a chance to spend some of their huge stockpile of savings. Advocates say switching the dates would cost nothing, delight the public and prompt about $11 billion worth of leisure and tourism spending.
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