Job scarcity for young people puts Japan's future at risk -- Akahata
editorial, September 3, 2001 (excerpts)

This year's new college graduates who have got jobs account for only 57.3
percent of all new graduates who sought jobs, a sharp decline from 81.3
percent in 1991. For high school graduates, the situation is even more
serious; only 18.4 percent of those who sought jobs have been able to find

Another trend that makes the employment situation among youth even more
serious is the rapid increase in the number of contingent workers among

According to the "White paper on Labor 2000," in 1997, the number of
young people who worked under contingent labor arrangements increased to
1.51 million from 1.01 million in 1992. Their average monthly salary is
120,000 yen (about 1,000 dollars), which is too low for young people to be
economically independent.

The continued reluctance of companies to hire new graduates has caused
problems in handing down job skills and techniques to the next generation of

The Japanese Communist Party in the Diet has emphasized that youth
unemployment is a serious problem for Japan's economy and politics, and
called for an end to corporate restructuring and for measures to help young
people to find jobs.

The government blames the increase in the number of contingent workers
and youth unemployment on the decline in the sense of purpose on the part of
young people regarding their work and to their existence in affluent
society. This is wrong.

What they are losing is not a sense of purpose but opportunities to get
hired as regular employees and continue to work under satisfactory working

The government has the responsibility to take measures to provide young
people with worthwhile jobs. (end)