Since policies taken post World War II, Japan has been slowly thriving and growing into one of the world's most developed countries. In the land of the rising sun, the major industries include manufacturing, construction, distribution, real estate, services, and communications. The largest GDP exports from Japan are cars, electronic devices, and computers. Due to globalization, supply and demand, and the opening of borders, many of Japan's major products such as cars are exported to countries like the U.S and China constantly. Cars, electronic devices, and computers are manufactured, produced, and shipped along the commodity chain inside massive factories in urban areas such as Toyota, Aichi, Japan. Within these factories, hundreds of workers are building the products by using the assembly line method.
The Average Worker:
Japan's major export industries include automobiles, computers, consumer electronics, semiconductors, copper, iron, and steel. Additional key industries in Japan's economy are comprised of petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, bio industry, shipbuilding, aerospace, textiles, and processed foods. However, the majority of Japanese laborers work in manufacturing plants, such as Toyota Motor. With the motor vehicle industry being one of the most successful GDP producing firms in the land of the rising sun, it is not surprising that the average worker in Japan works at Toyota Motor firms ("Top Japanese Companies & Top Japanese Brands").
When the Toyota Motor Corporation agreed to increase the base wages in Japan for the first time since 2008 by $26 monthly, the average Toyota Motor worker now makes $40,000 annually (“Automotive News”). Since Japan is currently experiencing deflation rather than inflation, each passing day, workers’ money becomes worth more than it was the previous day. Thus, the raises may seem miniscule, but with the given deflation of Japan’s economic state, these changes are very impactful.
Despite the reasonable wages that the average worker earns in Japan, there are certain factories that deviate from the norms that exist regarding worker safety and treatment. In 2008, a non-profit and non-governmental human-rights group based out of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania called the National Labor Committee slammed working conditions at the company's Prius Factory in the city of Toyota. Allegations included its heavy reliance on sweatshop labor from Chinese and Vietnamese workers. In a 65-page report titled, “The Toyota You Don't Know,” the committee stated that people were stripped of their passports and often forced to work. Contracts included working 16 hours a day, seven days a week, and being paid less than half the legal minimum wage. In 2006, workers at Toyota said they were ignored after warning the company’s management that its drive to become the world's best carmaker had dangerously compromised the product safety. Many Japanese workers at Toyota dealerships also complain about being overworked...