Japanese companies work on a seniority system knows as Nenko-joretsu.
This is a system in which a salaryman or woman`s position rises in
direct proportion to their age.
This system has survived in the large companies on the strength of
support from the labor unions.
It is also considered an effective method to heighten company loyalty
and to establish a family-oriented management style.
Things are changing, however, and modern-minded managers are now edging towards the merit system widely practiced elsewhere.
With the `job for life` system proving almost impossible to sustain in
the face of foreign competition and globalization, and the willingness
of younger Japanese to work for foreign companies, as well as switch
companies mid-career to better their prospects, Japanese companies are
now having to adapt. This opens up new opportunities for talented people
to prove themselves in the workplace.