How regular is your Japanese company?

Toyo Keizai has ranked the top 500 companies in Japan with the most non-regular staff (see our previous post for what this means and why you should care if you work for a Japanese company). Consciously or unconsciously, however, the “total employee” number they use includes overseas employees and the non-regular staff number is for Japan hired staff only, as far as I can work out.  Maybe it’s an indicator that overseas staff are seen as “regular” after all.  It certainly would account for the large increase in regular staff at NTT Data over the past 5 years for example – as they have been on a major acquisitions spending spree overseas – and will grow further once they integrate Dell Services.

We took a look at how this applies to the Top 30 Japanese employers in Europe.  Numbers are missing for some major employers like Canon, Sony, and Bridgestone.  Checking on the sources, which are mostly the Japanese stock exchange submissions, it seems these companies do not break down employee numbers by contract type.

My old employer Mitsubishi Corp does not disclose regional break down of consolidated employee numbers), but I note that the number of non-regular employees has fallen 8% the past five years (presumably due to the re-introduction of the “regular employee” administration track), although they still represent 20% of the total consolidated employees (18,054 out of 72,000).  Conversely, regular employee numbers have risen by 23%. As there are only around 6000-7000 employees in the Japanese offices of Mitsubishi Corporation, and around 10% of them are classified as non-regular, this must mean the other 17,000+ are non-regular staff in consolidated companies (not the main MC offices) in Japan.  That still leaves 46,000 or so “regular” employees of consolidated companies outside Japan.

Employment status in Japan, is, as they say “complicated”.  But you can bet Japanese employees have a very clear idea who is in-group and who is out.


For reports on the Top 30 Japanese employers in Europe, Middle East & Africa (showing trends in total global employees, Japan based employees, EMEA based employees) and the Top 30 Japanese employers in the UK (showing trends in total UK employees, regional HQ location, region covered, percentage UK of Europe and of global) please contact Pernille Rudlin



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