…part-time and temp workers comprised about 34.6% of Japan’s workforce in 2003. That figure is up 7.1% from 1999, due mostly to large corporations trying to cut labor costs. In other words, replace full-time employees with cheaper part-time/temp workers.
51.7% of employees said that reduction of labor costs was the primary reason for hiring part-timers and temp workers; 28% said that they needed part-timers and temp workers to cope with short-term business fluctuations; and 26.5% of employees said that they are adjusting their employment based on current business cycles.
22.9% of part-timers and temp workers said that they hoped to change their employment with roughly 80% saying that they wished to become full-time employees. Unfortunately, 19.8 employers said that they expected the number of full-time workers to continue shrinking; a ministry official also seems to believe in this trend.
Information taken from The Japan Time Online.