“Japan’s Disposable Workers” ist eine bemerkenswerte Doku-Serie über die Schattenseiten der Zeitarbeit von Japans schöner heiler Arbeitswelt von Shiho Fukada, die vom Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting unterstützt wurde. Fukada fängt die desolate Situation dieser Menschen in einer Weise ein, die vieles von dem in Frage stellt, was wir vielleicht über Japan zu wissen glauben. Im ersten Teil geht es um “Überarbeitung bis zum Selbstmord”. Der zweite Teil beobachtet obdachlose Arbeiter, die in einem Internet Café leben (siehe unten). In Teil 3 geht es auf die “Müllhalde” Kamagasaki in Osaka, wo ca. 25.000 greise, meist obdachlose Arbeitslose leben, die von der Gesellschaft ausrangiert wurden.
Japan’s Disposable Workers: Net Cafe Refugees
Internet cafes have existed in Japan for over a decade, but in the mid 2000’s, customers began using these spaces as living quarters. Internet cafe refugees are mostly temporary employees; their salary too low to rent their own apartments.
Japan’s Disposable Workers – Trailer
Japan’s Disposable Workers examines the country’s employment crisis: from suicide caused by overworking, to temporary workers forced by economics to live in internet cafes, and the elderly who wander a town in search of shelter and food.
Bonus Video: Inside the Making of “Japan’s Disposable Workers” – Not all the stories are visual.
Inside Japan Inc.: Suicide as Salvation
“I just feel irritated, exhausted and disgusted,” Naoya Nishigaki wrote before committing suicide in 2006. “I know the cause of my depression is definitely work.”
Naoya wasn’t alone. He was part of a growing trend in Japan—a trend especially prevalent among younger workers who are scrambling for vanishing job security. A stagnant economy has forced many Japanese companies to do away with their signature lifetime employment, lay off full-time workers and replace them with lower-paid temporary contractors.
Statistics from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare paint a striking picture: the leading cause of death among the Japanese population age 20-34 years is suicide. One in three suicides were believed to be work-related. Meanwhile, this same age group files more than half of the compensation cases for work-related mental illness. Some are able to sue their companies for compensation, but others find death to be their sole solution. Prejudice and discrimination associated with suicide discourage the victims’ families from reporting, which means the actual number of such suicides could be much higher.
This report is part of the Pulitzer Center sponsored project “Japan’s Disposable Workers: Lost in the Global Unemployment Crisis”