A survey shows that Japanese workers are the least interested in climbing the corporate ladder compared to their counterparts in Australia and other Asian-Pacific countries.
The poll by a Japanese private think tank asked respondents to rate their ambitions on a scale of one to five.
The average for Japanese workers was the lowest, at just under 3 points. Thais were the most ambitious, averaging 4.7, followed by Filipinos at 4.6 and Indians, 4.5.
Persol Research and Consulting surveyed people in their 20s to 60s who work in major cities in 14 economies in the Asia-Pacific. 14,000 responded in February and March.
The respondents were also asked if they are spending hours outside of work brushing up their skills, such as learning foreign languages or studying for certifications.
53 percent of the Japanese answered in the affirmative, the lowest number by far. In the other countries, the results ranged from three-quarters to nearly 100 percent.
An official at the think tank says ambitions among Japanese workers may have faded because promotion does not necessarily mean higher wages or more power when the economy is in a state of low growth. He says reforms are needed so that individual efforts to improve skills result in rewards.