2009 Holland Prize

Overtime Activists Take on Corporate Titans: Toyota, McDonald’s and Japan’s Work Hour Controversy

Charles Weathers and Scott North
Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan
Volume 82, No. 4, December 2009, pp. 615-636

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Charles Weathers

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Scott North

Based on a solid foundation of original empirical research, Weathers and North shed new light on the possibilities and the limits of civil society in Japan at the intersection of law, labor rights, and politics. The mobilized array of Japanese and English-language sources includes interviews, court records, presentations at union meetings, NGO reports, policy papers, mass media coverage, and academic works. While their article focuses on two specific lawsuits in Japan against Toyota and McDonald’s, the broader implications for all of Asia and the Pacific stem from the success of the article in highlighting the extent of the challenges involved in the protection of labor rights and the maintenance of a vigilant civil society even in an industrialized democracy.