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In Japan, the Recession Also Extends to Human Replacements

 - Jul 13, 2009
References: nytimes & twitter
The world is well aware of our dismal economy, and the recent wave of robot layoffs in Japan has signaled that the effects of the recession have even reached the non-human.

The robot layoffs in Japan are a bit different from their human counterpart elsewhere. When a human worker is laid off, they’re merely unemployed, sometimes given a pension and offered financial assistance as they find a new job in the form of unemployment. When finances dictate that the production or development of a robot aren’t financially feasible, they’re shelved, filed away and forgotten.

The only thing that seems somewhat positive about Japan’s robot layoffs is that they’re preventing human worker layoffs. Tetsuaki Ueda of Fuji Keizai told the New York Times that investment in robots "...has been the first to go as companies protect their human workers."