Naval Sea Systems Command

Workplace Culture

The Japanese Workforce

Workplace Culture

Japanese Nationals are customarily industrious, honest, courteous, meticulous, and will routinely provide a level of output and quality that will far surpass what you are accustomed to receiving elsewhere.

The U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility’s proud tradition and “roots” were firmly implanted in 1865 under the patronage of the Tokugawa Shogunate when the “Yokosuka Iron Works” was established. Since then, the shop and waterfront facilities have been extensively developed and expanded. During World War II, the Yokosuka Arsenal shipyard was one of the largest shipbuilding and repair sites of the Imperial Japanese Navy, employing over 40,000 people and building over 100 combatant ships. Among these were the 62,000 ton carrier Shinano, along with 10 other aircraft carriers, the 33,800 ton battleship Mutsu, and 6 other battleships, 6 cruisers and 20 submarines.

The current facility was opened by U.S. Forces on 28 April, 1947 as the “Ship Repair Department”, Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, with an Officer-in-Charge and a staff of 75 U.S. Navy personnel and 576 former Japanese Imperial Navy employees. At that time, the facility occupied about 72 acres, approximately one quarter of the former Imperial Japanese Naval Shipyard (Arsenal).

Today, SRF-JRMC employs nearly 2,500 Japanese Nationals, commonly called MLC (short for Master Labor Contract employees) in Yokosuka, who man all production shop positions and are also assigned throughout the organization, including top management.

On 29 March, 1976, the Commanding Officer established a Sasebo office with a staff of seven MLC. On 1 March 1984, the U.S. Naval Ship Repair Detachment, Sasebo was officially established by the Chief of Naval Operations, led by an Officer-in Charge. Today, SRF Detachment Sasebo employs 350 Japanese nationals as Planners, Mechanics & Foremen, Ship Superintendents, Quality Assurance, Test & Work Control, Design, Calibration, Administration, Supply Support and Safety Inspectors. Production is accomplished by a roughly 110-man production shop and 26 local contractors under a Master Ship Repair Agreement (MSRA). The Det also provides Combat Systems.

Japanese Nationals are customarily industrious, honest, courteous, and meticulous, and will routinely provide a level of output and quality that will far surpass what you are accustomed to receiving elsewhere. However, the language barrier may cause problems. Remember, speak slowly and don’t assume that what’s clear to you is equally clear to an MLC worker. Key SRF-JRMC personnel, such as Zone Managers and Assistant Project Superintendents are available to communications challenges.

The Government of Japan (GOJ), through the Ministry of Defense (MOD), is the legal employer of Japanese Nationals (JN) working for U.S. Forces under the appropriated fund Master Labor Contract (MLC). Although they are legally employees of the GOJ, JNs employed under the MLC are Foreign National Indirect Hire (FNIH) employees (not contractors) of the U.S. Forces, and work under the direct supervision of US military and civilian supervisors.

The side-by-side sharing and working together of Japanese and Americans is one of the greatest forces contributing to the accomplishment of our mission to Keep SEVENTH Fleet Operationally Ready.

SRF-JRMC’s continuous improvement is the direct result of the dedicated efforts of our most important asset – people! The vast majority of which are Japanese MLC. Our talented multinational work force is frequently augmented by very capable U.S. and Japanese contractors. The resulting team effort has earned SRF-JRMC an enviable reputation for completing complex repair and modernization work of unparalleled quality, timelines and reduced costs.

The spirit and dedication of all members of the U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility are reflected in our motto:

Nan Demo Dekimasu – We Can Do Anything!

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