An article in Kyodo News describes how one company is paying keener attention as a workforce and customer to baby boomers, whose massive retirement will begin next year. Specifically, Lawson, Inc. "plans to increase its number of middle-aged and elderly part-timers to 20 percent of such workers, now numbering about 150,000, within several years because it believes seniors are more likely to enter its outlets if there are shop employees of the same generation."
However, other companies lack experience in employing the middle-aged and elderly. "Masaru Okamura, a director of Tokyo-based Ten Allied Co. which operates Japanese-style pubs, said, 'Young shop managers don't have experience in supervising elderly people and don't know appropriate language to be used for them.' The company is now actively seeking older workers by offering bonuses, but creation of a workplace environment to truly bring out their abilities is still a work in progress."
Source: Kyodo News "Conflict between young and old over part-time jobs seen possible" (October 26, 2006)