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What Is Amakudari?

In Japan, the term amakudari (in a real sense, "plummet from paradise") alludes to the post-retirement employment of senior civil servants in private and public corporations and non-governmental organizations, especially those that fall under the jurisdiction of the service they retired from.

Figuring out Amakudari

As additional individuals vie for less situations at the highest point of the regulatory ladder, Amakudari is viewed as an approach to "redressing" the people who retire to clear a path for others to gain seniority. A significant number of those resigning from the public sector would do as such in their mid-50s, so for certain years yet of lucrative Amakudari tasks to repay them.

Amakudari as a practice has both been associated with corruption and tied to obsolete approaches to carrying on with work. It is straightforwardly linked to the traditional Japanese hierarchical mode of business, where the accentuation is put on seniority over merit.

The practice of Amakudari has gone under serious examination in the midst of a number of scandals linked to it over the past years and years, yet the endeavors to fix legislation around it have been generally incapable as incentives for both the retired civil servants and their new employers to proceed with the practice stay.

It is important to note that this practice isn't unique to Japan. Several senior government officials in the United States likewise parachute into the private sector after government service.

For instance, Timothy Geithner, former treasury secretary during the recession, is presently employed with private equity firm Warburg Pincus. Rahm Emanuel, who was President Obama's chief of staff and former Chicago Mayor, is presently a counselor with Centerview Partners LLC, a boutique investment firm, and is responsible for opening their Chicago office.

Amakudari and Corruption

While defenders of the practice contend that it greases up private-public sector relations (cutting through red tape), the potential for corruption of such a practice is clear too, specifically boosting civil servants to lean toward companies who could give them lucrative employment after they retire from public service.

A number of company scandals have been linked in this manner to Amakudari, including incidents, for example, rigging offers and avoidance of inspection records. Additionally, there is minimal incentive for appropriate oversight of industry by administrators who hope to be offered positions inside that industry once they leave the government.

For instance, the Japan Times reported that in the past 50 years, 68 ex-administrators landed senior situations at the country's 12 power providers by means of Amakudari**,** and there were questions raised about whether careless regulatory oversight of the nuclear power industry due to this comfortable relationship contributed to the Fukushima disaster.

A restored focus on the practice occurred in 2017 when the Education Ministry was uncovered as taking part in systematic endeavors to evade legal requirements to orchestrate special hiring of retired civil servants by a scope of organizations.

One of the regulations (enacted in 2008) restricts government officials from aiding the placement of an official or former official in a business or nonprofit organization. The 2017 scandal showed that the Ministry of Education (among others) took advantage of a loophole by utilizing retired officials to act as intermediaries.


  • The practice is generally considered a reason for corruption in the Japanese bureaucracy.
  • Amakudari, which in a real sense means "plunge from paradise," alludes to the post-retirement employment of senior Japanese government officials in the private sector.
  • Considered compensation for those pass up promotion inside the Japanese bureaucracy.