The New York Times' Hiroko Tabuchi reported last month on the trend in Japan, where lifetime positions are the expectation. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Japanese firms hope to reverse the social taboo against massive layoffs in order to revitalize the economy.
But many employees are resistant. From the Times:
Sony, Mr. Tani’s employer of 32 years, consigned him to this room because they can’t get rid of him. Sony had eliminated his position at the Sony Sendai Technology Center, which in better times produced magnetic tapes for videos and cassettes.