Capitalism is the dominant model of economic governance in the world today. Among the varieties of capitalisms, Japan’s is said to exemplify a benign, kinder form than then eo-liberal ideal – a capitalism with a human face, a capitalism that cares. To test this claim, this chapter explores the realm of work in Japan, especially Japan’s institution of lifelong employment. Lifelong employment is a good case study for two linked reasons. First, by guaranteeing workers a job for life, it expresses a concern for employee welfare over the immediacy of profit-making. Second, by making employees an important stakeholder in corporate governance, it represents a Japanese alternative to the Western model of shareholder primacy. However, this chapter argues that Japanese capitalism does not have a beating heart. Instead, an analysis of the legal regulation of employment rights in Japan reveals a dark side to lifelong employment’s promise of employment stability to Japanese workers.