Interview with Prof. Masako Wakui

7 May 2020

We interviewed Prof. Masako Wakui, as we talked about trade unions, fairness, bargaining power, and competition law in Japan.

Our main questions to Masako:

1. In your research you document a number of unfair labor practices in the traditional employment relations and in the new non-standard form of work. What are these practices and how do they relate to the competition law?

2. Japanese workers have specific constitutional rights to unionize and organize themselves and go on strike. Do self-employed workers benefit from the same protections as employees?

3. In your paper, you posit that market definition tools relying on market shares might be ill-suited to deal with unions’ market power and market definition. Can you elaborate on this?

4. With the power of trade unions waning, what are your proposed alternative solutions? What do you think is the role of competition law, if any, in these labour relations?

5. You referred to regulation of abuse of superior bargaining position under the competition law. Can you explain how this is enforced in relation to self-employed workers? Is it appropriate in your view?