A tangent to my post from earlier today.
I can’t emphasize enough that, when the Japanese government actually wants to go at an issue, they know how to do it. All of this “sho ga nai” and “oops, we just didn’t realize” are cheap excuses.
I think about maybe three or four that I’ve blogged about in the past year:
1) The Dispatch ALT situation and social insurances – the government (Education Ministry) could simply state that regional school boards can only work with ALT Dispatch companies who certify that they enroll their employees in shakai hoken. This could be done in an afternoon. It would take the competitive bidding pressure away. That is to say, firms that low-ball because they ignore the social insurance law would no longer be in the game.
People tell me the issue is Dispatch ALT period. This, and the whole JET as cap on ALT compensation. But that’s all more complicated. If Dispatch ALT isn’t going away, the matter above can be taken care of with one notice from the Education Ministry, cc’ed to the various embassies that have totalization treaties with Japan.
2) Social insurance in general – at the time the new Zairyu Card is issued, the resident is automatically enrolled in pension and health insurance. Paying for it can be its own issue. The fact is, the paperwork part would be done, and there would be no incentive to “fly under the radar” for ten or twenty years. Companies hiring any foreigner would be aware that pension and health insurance are issues. Again, could be done in an afternoon.
The basis for this could be the totalization treaties, if people object to the fact that the Japanese aren’t automatically enrolled. A treaty is supposed to trump national law–at least it does in America.
3) Housing discrimination and contract issues – ban housing discrimination nationwide as Kanagawa-ken has done. Require a housing agency to certify any strange or unusual contracts, like these hybrid hotel-leases, that the HT people have played with me here in Tomigaya. (That is to say, an agency must certify that the lease is outside the Land and House Lease law.) This could be set up in an afternoon.
Of course, there are the labor law issues that are more complicated. So, maybe these take more than an afternoon.
The fact that Japan doesn’t move on this kind of stuff is an indication that Japan likes the mess just the way it is. When people want something done, like getting the yacks out of construction so the money goes to the workers and the projects that are getting built (and tax paid appropriately), it gets done. That’s not to say there aren’t problems, as the threatening shotgun holes in windows suggest. But that something happens.
When you see Washington screw around like this, which has been going on during 2009 and 2010 if you ask my liberal and progressive friends on firedoglake, you see how quickly people get angry and start demanding solutions. Parties that don’t deliver lose support, and the other side gets it (due to the dropoff of the opposition).