Research Handbook on Labour, Business and Human Rights Law
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Research Handbook on Labour, Business and Human Rights Law

Edited by Janice R. Bellace and Beryl ter Haar

Inquisitive and diverse, this innovative Research Handbook explores the ways in which human rights apply to people at work, through national constitutional provisions, judicial decisions and the application of rights expressed in supranational instruments. Key topics include evaluation of the role of the ILO in developing and promoting internationally recognized labour rights, and the examination of the meaning of the obligation of business to respect human rights, considering the evolution from international soft law to incorporation in codes of conduct and the emerging requirement of due diligence.
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Chapter 5: Business, labor law and human rights in Japan

Takashi Yonezu

Abstract

This chapter outlines the institutional contents of how the individual and collective labor rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Japan are embodied in Japanese labor laws. To understand the problems of human rights and labor in Japan, the chapter first considers the so-called Japanese-style employment system. A system with unique features that proved to be very strong and effective during the twentieth century, but seems to be failing in the twenty-first. Furthermore, the chapter further considers the issue of horizontal direct effect of fundamental rights guaranteed at constitutional level, illustrated by the examples of equality in employment, prohibition of discrimination, harassment, the right to privacy, working time, and the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. Each of these examples describe the Japanese interpretation of these rights, followed by reflections on various issues and problems regarding these rights faced in the Japanese labor market.

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