Comprehensive Employment Measures

- Toward the stabilization of employment and creation of new industries -

(Decision by the Headquarters for Industrial Structural Reform and Employment Measures on September 20, 2001)

In order for Japan to construct a base for future development, to realize the potential growth of the economy and to truly rehabilitate the economy, it is essential to promote structural reform without sanctuaries.

The Japanese economy, especially in the employment situation, is becoming increasingly severe, with the unemployment rate in July rising to 5.0%. We cannot rule out the possibility of the employment situation deteriorating even further with progress in the disposal of non-performing loans. It is in these times that we have to construct a base for new growth, while limiting damage to a minimum.

To this end, it is necessary to implement measures to cope with the following three issues in a comprehensive manner.

First, in order to "create employment," it is necessary to foster new markets and industries by carrying out drastic regulatory/institutional reforms. Second, in order to "dissolve employment mismatches," it is necessary to actively promote job-placement services and human resources development through public-private cooperation and be able to place the right man in the right job, so that labor mobility will be facilitated. Third, by "establishing a safety net," it is necessary to make people live with peace of mind and give them strong motivation.

From these standpoints, the Headquarters for Industrial Structural Reform and Employment Measures has worked out "Comprehensive Employment Measures," a comprehensive package of emergency and focused measures.

I. Creation of Employment

- Job creation by fostering new markets and industries -

1. Creation of new markets

Such fields as medical welfare and environment hold the key to the creation of new markets in Japan. The government will strive to construct a competitive, efficient medical welfare system and an economic society that is symbiotic with the environment, expand the market in these fields, and provide high-quality services in order to meet people's needs.

  1. Childcare: Promotion of measures to reduce to zero the number of children on the waiting list for admission to nursery school (To be described in II.6)

    • In order to increase the admission of children to nursery schools and other facilities by a total of 150,000 (50,000 within fiscal 2002 and another 100,000 by fiscal 2004), the establishment of necessary facilities will be promoted immediately by increasing the number of facilities set up by the public sector and run by the private sector through the use of PFI and other means. (Request for supplementary budget now under consideration. Requesting budget in fiscal 2002)

    • Measures will be implemented to promote childcare at places near stations, to provide childcare services utilizing vacant schoolrooms and stores, to authorize hitherto unauthorized day-care centers, and promote day nursery at kindergartens. (Requesting budget in fiscal 2002)

    • Extended childcare and holiday childcare will be actively promoted. (Requesting budget in fiscal 2002)

    • Provision of childcare services by companies and other private sectors will be promoted by promoting the establishment of branch nursery schools, flexibly applying the accounting that concerns nursery schools, reviewing the establishment standards for nursery schools, and making the deregulation measures implemented so far thoroughly known to the public, all by the end of fiscal 2001. Also, flexible utilization of certified nurses will be facilitated.

    • In order to increase the number of after-school facilities mainly in big cities and surrounding areas to 15,000 by fiscal 2004 (800 after-school children clubs in fiscal 2002), there will be an immediate establishment of the necessary facilities for after-school children clubs. (Request for supplementary budget now under consideration. Requesting budget in fiscal 2002)

  2. Long-term care: Improvement of the system to provide long-term care services

    • Operation of assisted-living houses by private companies will be permitted and facilities that are set up by the public sector and run by the private sector through the use of PFI will be increased. (System review in fiscal 2001. Requesting budget in fiscal 2002)

  3. Health care: Reform of medical systems and creation of medical market

    • Promotion of the use of IT in the medical field, such as making electronic patient record . (Requesting budget in fiscal 2002)

    • In order to promote the submitting of bills electronically, preparations will be made sequentially starting in fiscal 2001. (Implementation began sequentially in fiscal 2001)

    • A study will be conducted and a conclusion should be reached by the end of fiscal 2001 with regard to direct examination of bills by insurers and the consignment of examination to the private sector. (Conclusion to be reached by the end of fiscal 2001)

    • Starting in fiscal 2002, the combination of treatment covered by the insurance and not covered by the insurance will be expanded in order to offer a wider choice of medical treatment to patients. (To be implemented starting in fiscal 2002)

    • A study will begin in fiscal 2001 with regard to reviewing the management mode of medical institutions. (Study begin in fiscal 2001)

  4. Environment: Formation of a Recycling-Oriented Society and expansion of industries related to energy saving and new energy

    • Rules to form a Recycling-Oriented Society will be established immediately, including a study to review the definition of waste (to be completed by the end of fiscal 2002) and the enactment of an automobile recycle law (to be submitted to the next ordinary session of the Diet), in order to create new industries and expand related services.

    • Renewable energy and energy-saving markets will be created and their services will be expanded by developing fuel cells and expanding targets for equipment based on top-runner system. (Requesting budget in fiscal 2002)

2. Program to Double Foundation and Opening of Businesses

In order to double the number of businesses to be created and opened in five years (at present, 180,000 companies are established every year) and make them the source of market creation, the government will promote the establishment of financial and human resources environments and strongly support the management innovation of smaller enterprises. Industry cluster programs designed to revitalize regional economies will also be promoted in order to create industry clusters for the continual development of new businesses viable in the world.

  1. Establishment of environment to promote business start-ups and opening and management innovation

    • With regard to stock options systems, the number of persons covered by the Commercial Code will be expanded and the matters to be decided will be simplified. (A bill to revise the Commercial Code is to be submitted to the extraordinary session of the Diet.)
      Study will also be made with regard to organizing disclosure-related regulations based on the review of the stock options system in the Commercial Code, with due consideration given to facilitating enterprises' securing of human resources. (By the end of fiscal 2001)

    • Support of financing and human resources development concerning business start-ups and innovation of SMEs will be promoted and enhanced. (To be described in III.6)

    • Support for business start-ups and innovation of SMEs based on technology and IT will be expanded. (Requesting budget in fiscal 2002)

    • Support for smaller enterprises' fund procurement through the issuance of private placement bonds will be promoted. (Measures to be taken by the end of fiscal 2001)

    • With regard to government research and development budgets, small business innovation research (SBIR) which has a target amount to be expanded for SMEs will be expanded. (Requesting budget in fiscal 2002)

  2. Promotion of industry cluster program for revitalization of regional economies

    • Under the "Industry Cluster Program for the Revitalization of Regional Economies," a wide-area personnel network of industries, academia and the government will be formed and measures, such as the development of practical technology through industry-academic-government cooperation, will be effectively implemented in order to support regional economies and form industry clusters for the continual development of new businesses viable in the world. (Request for supplementary budget now under consideration. Requesting budget in fiscal 2002)

3. Creation of New Businesses Through Technological Innovation

(Promotion of Innovation)
Competitive forces will be introduced to universities in order to create world-class universities and their bases will be reinforced. Creation of venture firms originating from universities will be promoted (1,000 venture firms in three years) by enhancing the proximity between universities with basic research capabilities and a group of venture firms; and the development of regional science and technology will be promoted by making use of regional characteristics.

4. Reinforcement of industrial competitiveness

n order to strengthen the industrial competitiveness that will form the cornerstone of Japan's future growth, focused investment will be made in life science and three other fields and support will be provided to private-sector research and development. Also, a system to enhance the flexibility of business management, facilitate business activities, and revitalize commerce will be established in order to support challenging firms.

New markets and employment will be created in such growth fields as IT, distribution, and cities by steadily carrying out regulatory reforms.

II. Dissolution of Employment Mismatches

- Reinforcement of public-private cooperation, human resources development, improvement of employment environment -

1. Reinforcement of cooperation to dissolve mismatch

In order to dissolve employment mismatches, information on job offers both in the private and public sectors will be provided and early re-employment will be promoted by combining job-placement services with vocational training

2. Establishment of a system to promote spontaneous human resources development by individuals

In order to dissolve the mismatch of recruiters' job requirements and job-seekers' abilities, the government will develop workers with flexible, and high-level skills and abilities by supporting them with opportunities to develop their capabilities spontaneously initiatives, in addition to human resources development provided by corporations.

3. Ensuring and creating diversified opportunities for human resources development by making use of private-sector vitality

Along with vocational training at public institutions, training at private education and training institutions on a consignment basis will be fully utilized in order to secure and create diversified opportunities for human resources development.

4. Advanced personnel training utilizing undergraduate and graduate schools

By utilizing undergraduate and graduate schools, advanced personnel training will be provided.

5. Promotion of employment of the elderly

Employment of the elderly will be promoted by dissolving employment mismatches due to age.

6. Establishment of economic and social foundations that enable women to keep working

Social environments that allow women to bear and rear children with peace of mind will be established, including strengthening child-care support functions.

7. Establishment of environments that respond to diversified modes of employment

Work environments will be established that permit diversified ways of working.

8. Review of the worker dispatching system

In response to severe employment situations and as part of the establishment of the foundation of the labor market, the worker dispatching system will be reviewed

9. Review of job-placement system

As part of the establishment of the foundation of the labor market, the job-placement system will be reviewed and a smooth labor movement to the fields that create new jobs will be promoted.

III. Establishment of a Safety Net

1. Creation of jobs that meet regional needs

In order to promote the creation of jobs that meet regional needs, the subsidy system that will be reviewed in line with the enactment of the Revised Employment Measure Law will be employed effectively and the “emergency regional employment special grant” that expires this fiscal year will be reviewed.

2. Implementation of a package of special measures for employment assistance

In order to limit to a minimum the effect on employment that will accompany the promotion of the disposal of non-performing loans, the largest issue now, and to stabilize employment, a package of special measures for employment assistance will be implemented immediately, such as active use of various subsidies.

3. Strengthening labor mobility without causing unemployment

In order to facilitate re-employment of the workers who are compelled to leave their jobs, various subsidies will be actively utilized and measures for labor mobility without unemployment will be strengthened in cooperation with the private sector.

4. Stabilization of life of the unemployed and promotion of employment

In order to stabilize the life of the unemployed and to promote employment, various support measures will be implemented for the unemployed.

5. Enactment of the "Emergency Employment Measures Bill (tentative name)"

6. Enhancement of safety net for SMEs

Business start-ups and innovation of promising and motivated SMEs will be supported in line with the progress of structural reforms. The safety net will be further enhanced, including new financial measures to prevent chain reaction bankruptcies of such SMEs and to support their business rehabilitation.