The employment landscape of UK’s old industrial regions, have really been transformed in the past two decades. This is due to the destruction of the tradition industries and also shifts towards the service-based, as a form of employment and the new manufacturing industries which are often associated with the foreign inward investment. The major component of the transformation can be attributed to the invasion of Japanese owned industries, which is driven by the globalization strategies and also the desire to have an advantage on the opportunities in the up-and-coming single European Market.
The older industrial regions have given prove of attractive sites for such investments due to the accessibility of large reserves for the manual labor, which happens to be released from the traditional forms of labor by the processes of deindustrialization, this is also due to the huge start-up of subsidies which happens to be available from national and also from European regional development agencies. For example, Nissan received 112 million dollar from the UK government due to the first stage of development in the setting up its car manufacturing firm outside Sunderland in the northern part of England during 1986.
In UK, the two regional parts that happened to attract the lion’s share of Japan manufacturing investment although not the services in the latest years are North East of England and the south Wales. The employment effect of Japanization happens to be substantial; in Wales, twenty eight industries were established between 1972 and 1991 with creation of jobs over 13,000. In North East, Japanization is more recent and also intense phenomenon than Wales, with more jobs over 11,000 which were created between the year 1985 and 1993. The most dominant sectors in investment happened to be the automobile manufacturers who were dominant in North east and consumer electronics which were more prominent in South Wales.
There is no doubt that the scale of economic impact in the Japanese firms, has been claimed that the developments happens to be fundamentally transforming nature of employments in relation to the two regions. However, there are some debates concerning the nature of this transformation. According to one commentator, Japanization happens to result to the development of a new accord on the shop floor which is replacing the more adversarial relationships between labor and the capital, due to Japanese particular requirements of production systems based during the time of management practices.
Another group of researchers suggested that Japanese represents an attempt by the management to reassert many direct firms of control, normally corresponds with the return of more Taylorist and coercive methods working in the organization. Another school of thought, suggested that Japanization as a new worldwide model of employment and production organization relations happens to be itself open to question, when given the enormous variations between sectors, geographical context and firms where the Japanese firms operate. These contributions examine the experiences of Japanization in North East and South Wales, which is within the context of the changes found in employment relations in two regions. This focuses plainly upon the consequences of what specifically Ackroyd et al.(1988) termed as “ direct “ Japanization –this are the new forms found in Japanese inward investment which took place in the mid of 1970s-rather than the more enveloping and indirect influences on Japanese production practices on the domestic firms.
The only argument is that, since there happens to be no disputing of the magnitude on the current changes which were taking place, the only wary should be about the conceptualizing of Japanization as being very unique. Rather than working to help in bringing about a new and also a more consensual employment environment Japanization should be seen as a strand of shift towards more coercive set of employments relation as an attempts by the management to re-establish full control over the labor in all working places. The reminder of the essay happens to be divided into four sections. First section outlines briefly the nature of tradition forms of employment relations. The second section is the analysis of broader changes which are happening in the current period. This forms the context which examines the Japanization experiences in the third section in the two regions. Japanese happens to be re-shaping the employment environment in the wider on-going changes.
The impact that Japanese firms had on the north East of England and South Wales would only be understood in the perspective of the historical development of the employment relations of the two regions. The two regions happen to share a common industrial tradition and the employment legacies due to their participation in an early stage of capitalizing their industries from 1840 to 1920 which geared the production of capital goods. All through this period, the two regions happened to develop their own system of work organization and employment regulation which was centered upon industries of chemicals, iron, steel and coal mining and also related downstream industries which is of heavy shipbuilding and engineering. There happens to be variations in culture of employment relations in places which reflect the significance of employment experiences and different industries. In coalfield areas more comprehensive working class consciousness happened to develop. Naturally, an employer a local colliery focuses for entire communities, by encouraging the different forms of social cohesion and also collective resistance to capital of which is rarely found in a much more diverse local labor markets.
Consequently particularly in the South Wales, the place earned itself a reputation as a radical/militant region. On the other hand in the coastal districts of the North East England, a different labor market culture developed and it was centered upon craft-based production. The basis for the organization of the labor happened to be the preservation of the individual craft skills, instead of collective class of consciousness. Though the workers’ representation and the union organization which happened to be highly developed, had an intension of being fragmented between internecine conflicts and the different trades happened to be more often an important element during defining employment relations.
This was better than the conflict which was between labor and capital. In addition, labor market to these areas happened to be highly fluid and also for the majority workers the work experiences were characterized by a chain of jobs with very different firms rather than a stable career which has a single employer. During the twentieth century, the extended decline of these firms and also the failure to enlarge new consumer industries happened to leave its own legacy with some respect to the well organized work with the two regions. This meant that during post-war period (1945-70) the areas did not make the whole transition to the Fordist forms concerning employment relations which have been viewed as a characteristic of modern industrial regions.
In most accounts of Japan development of social welfare happens to start with the actions of prince Shotoku , who happened to bring Buddhism to Japan during the sixth century AD and also set up number of welfare institutions. Another cited precursor of present-day system happened to be the Taiho code of seven hundred and two which happened to be the first instance of any public assistance programmed which introduced the idea that welfare of all the needy happened to be the responsibility of the immediate family, later to the other relatives and then to the community.
During the Takugawa period (1603 to 1868) the responsibility for the social welfare happened to b e quite consciously devolved to all the family members and also the community. This happened to be the five family unit systems which were about social control since it was about aiding the needy. The Tokugawa regime happened to be characterized as the most conservative and also feudal which meant “police state “on the record. The social mobility happened to be banned (even though the market economy happened to grow towards the end of this period, this happened to be honored more in the breach) the mutual responsibility which was built in the five-family unit system which meant that not only the community was responsible for the welfare of the individuals but also for their actions and also to punish their mistakes .Frugality and also hard work were also considered as the most effective means of managing poverty.
The informers of the state authority were believed to be everywhere, and also peer pressure and self guide became the norm. The existence of the system happened to be very important to our understanding of contemporary system, because it was developed during the war time .and its descendants can still be found in Japan.
Until the period of Meiji period, there was collick (1988:205) who put it as a long standing conviction, which was based on the traditional Confucian of moral teachings, about the family and the local community which were the proper organs of the beliefs of distress .According to Komatsu (1992), role of state during the pre- modern period in Japan happened to be the one of “peripheral non- responsibility.