Temporary and part-time employment are mere buffers which allow the regular workforce to enjoy the benefits of the employment relationship, whereby a sort of labour aristocracy is created whose vested interests are also represented by the labour union. Regular employment takes a clearly collective approach involving a corporate dimension maintained on complex and long-term dynamics. By starting employment after graduation, young Japanese become shakai-jin, fully-fledged members of society, which means they are now expected to contribute to society. The workplace becomes a community of fate (kyôdô-tai), and this is highlighted by the fact that members of the industrial society identify themselves with their place of work (shokuba), contrary to the Western practice where identity is determined by one’s skill, occupation, or profession. The popular term for regular employees is not employees but corporate members (sha-in). The manager is as much a sha-in as the clerk or the production worker. The common denominator is corporate loyalty. In Japan, being employed is not interpreted as having a job, for this would refer to an individual’s qualification, but having a place of work, which reflects a collective dimension. The late Konosuke Matsushita, founder of Matsushita Electrical Industrial Co., addressing a group of American and European executives visiting Japan, stated in his usual forceful manner: ‘Your “socially-minded bosses”, often full of good intentions, believe their duty is to protect the people in their firms. We, on the other hand, are realists and consider it our duty to get our people to defend their firms, which will pay them back a hundredfold for their dedication. By doing this, we end up by being more “social” than you’ (as quoted in Trevor 1988:238).