A 42-year old former employee of Mazda drove his car into a bunch of people at a Mazda plant in Hiroshima, killing 1 and injuring 10. He was arrested on attempted murder charges — however, nobody really knows why the guy was so disgruntled. He only worked at Mazda for 8 days in April, and he quit on his own accord. One expert predicts that this could be a side effect of the discrepancy between the overly protective lifetime employment system and the half-assed contract worker agreements:
Koetsu Aizawa, professor of economics at Saitama University, said the discriminatory dual system of employment was common at major Japanese companies because regular workers, hired under a lifetime employment system, can’t be fired.
“Japan still needs to foster the idea of equal pay for equal work,” he said. “What many Japanese feel is that regular workers do little work but have big attitudes and get big money. It is a huge social problem.”
The manufacturers can better respond to changes in market demand with haken workers because they cannot generally dismiss regular employees.