Industrial relations refer to the relationship between employers, workers and/or the government. It can also include trade unions who work to protect the interest of workers under them. Industrial relations system varies among different countries, due to the different political, social, ecological, legal and economical factors that can affect the effectiveness of each system (Tan 2007).
Singapore industrial relations system tends to be more pluralistic in nature. Trade unions are welcomed, and collective bargaining, together with compromise among employers and trade unions, are encouraged in order to resolve industrial conflicts. Singapore adopts a tripartite system in various areas; many labour related committees, guidelines and policies in Singapore are tripartite in nature. These labour-related committees consist of representatives from the 3 actors: the government, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF). This is to ensure that any guidelines, policies and recommendations made by these committees are fair and look after the interest of the 3 different parties (Tan 2007).
Japan, on the other hand, is slightly inclined towards a unitarist system. Though trade unions are allowed in Japan, over 90% of these unions are enterprise union (The Japan