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"Every one wants to reduce the number of employees in this age bracket." Taichi Sakaiya, an author and former Economic Planning Agency director general, wrote in his novel "Dankai no Sedai" (The Age of Baby Boomers) nearly a quarter of a century ago. He correctly predicted a time when baby boomers would face difficulties when no longer required by their employers.
These fears over employment--once the concern only of baby boomers--are now being felt by other people. Both the unemployment rate and the number of people employed stand at their worst levels since the early 1950s.
The House of Councillors election is coming at a time when public concern over employment is at its highest level ever.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has pledged to deliver "structural reform without exceptions." While there are great expectations that these reforms will herald the rebirth of the nation, there is a potential downside to them--the strong possibility that they will lead to …