Japan's Worker Shortage : The Indicator from Planet Money Japan's worker shortage has gotten so bad it's forced some companies to declare bankruptcy. The solution? Telling workers to work less.
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Japan's Worker Shortage

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Japan's Worker Shortage

Japan's Worker Shortage

Japan's Worker Shortage

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/740844097/753764146" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images
In this picture taken on October 12, 2017, people wait for the train at a subway station in Tokyo.
BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images

Some companies in Japan are going bankrupt because of the country's critical labor shortage. Officials point to a declining birthrate — which has led to a shortage of workers — and an infamously demanding workplace culture that is discouraging some people from entering the job market at all. This past April, Japan's legislative body introduced a novel solution to these two problems: a law requiring workers to work less.

Today on The Indicator, how a cap on overtime could alter Japan's work culture, bring new people — particularly women — into the workplace, and solve the country's labor shortage.

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