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The generational gap between young and old is widening in Japanese companies

In an aging country, which promotes the work of older people, tensions between those who cling to their posts and the new guard are exacerbated.

 ThegenerationalgapbetweenyoungandoldiswideninginJapanesecompanies

A senior at work in Tokyo


"Older leaders do not let us tempt and deceive us. This is essential for the experience. " This bitter finding of Tatsushi Mihori, a dynamic sales specialist in the fourties, reflects a real frustration among Japanese employees vis-à-vis their elders, clinging to their jobs in a country that favors the employment of seniors. to make up for a growing shortage of manpower.

For young workers, these impediments to change are factors of rougai , literally the "problems posed by the elderly", a phenomenon - not limited to the professional sphere - increasingly visible in a society where a third of population is over 60 years old. In April, social networks were raging against an old man appeared in a video showing him blocking for no apparent reason closing the doors of a crowded metro Nagoya.

Elderly people who cause road accidents, a major concern in Japan, are another manifestation. Just like the aging political class and judged incompetent. Former anti-cybercrime minister Yoshitaka Sakurada, 69, for example, was appointed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, while, by his own admission, he never touched a computer in his life.

"Reason on everything"

In companies, the business turns to generation conflict. In September, according to the statistics of the Ministry of Labor, 9 million people over 65 years of age worked, against 5.5 million in 2009. At the same time, the number of assets has virtually stagnated, to 63.1 million, in September. The work of the elderly is all the more encouraged as a majority of them want to continue their work, even with reduced hours.

In October 2018, the economic magazine BizSPA! conducted a survey of young employees to rank the ten most unbearable things caused by their elders. The first was the "way older people always say they are right about everything" . Then followed the mania of repeating "when I was young ..." , to impose their methods or to refuse to "recognize their mistakes and apologize" . Seniors also always want to go out for a drink after work and do not understand why young people refuse to do so.