All Aspects Affecting Japan’s Working Conditions

Many people, particularly Asians dreamt of working in Japan despite the country’s distinct culture and tradition.

For the young aspirants, who wish to work in Japan, here are some useful information you need to know regarding Japan’s working conditions before sending your portfolio.

Minimum Working Conditions

Under the country’s Labor Standards Act, working conditions like the minimum number of leave, overtime rate and holidays are specified.

Monthly Wage

Japan maintains a strict Minimum Wage Act and the minimum wage rate is being renewed annually around the month of October. And, there are two types of statutory minimum wage – one for each prefecture and the other one for certain industries, and the higher of the two shall be met. The more commonly applied prefectural minimum wage is being reviewed and announced around the month of October annually and the highest goes for Tokyo at ¥907 per hour applicable from October 1, 2015.

Maximum Working Week

As a general principle, a standard work hour shall not exceed 40 hours a week.


So far, as a general principle, the guideline for the monthly overtime is capped at maximum 45 hours. A mechanism is provided to allow overtime beyond such a cap once a special agreement was made.

Meanwhile, other exceptions to the rule may apply based on the status of an employee or the applicable work hour scheme.

Overtime work shall be compensated with overtime allowance, which must be at least 125% of the regular wage per hour for overtime up to 60 hours a month, and for the succeeding overtime, the hourly wage rate shall be increased to 150%.


Generally, an employer is required to provide an employee at least 1 day off from work in a week.

Moreover, a statutory annual leave must be provided to the employee when the latter’s attendance rate was 80% or higher in the relevant period. As for the full time employees, if they reached at least six months to six years in service, they can be granted with 10 to 20 annual paid holidays, depending on the length of their stay.

Employers’ Duty to Provide a Healthy and Safe Workplace

It is an employer’s responsibility to provide “due care for safety” for the workers’ protection in their workplace. This responsibility has stemmed for the obligation of good faith and had been turned into a statutory obligation upon the implementation of the Labor Contract Act. Primarily, this obligation had been deliberated in the setting of preventing workplace accidents like in use of machineries, but is now more commonly discussed in the setting of preventing long work hours, harassment, which includes bullying, at the workplace, that leads to either mental or physical sickness or both.

Aizelle Joe