Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Japan Dock Workers On Strike

Nearly 20,000 dock workers went on a 24-hour strike on March 23 across the nation. The union demanded a wage hike and other system improvement, but the companies rejected all demands saying that the union should hold enterprise-based negotiations for wage hikes and calling that the spring offensive out of date.
Japanese unions, which are usually enterprise-based,  demand a wage hike for base salary every spring because that's the beginning of fiscal year in Japan.

"They are mocking us," says the general-secretary of All Japan Dock Workers Union Yokohama branch. "There is nothing but a struggle for workers' rights."

No trucks were transporting, no freight ships coming into ports, or no gantry cranes were operating during the strike at Yokohama docks.

The union also plans to go on a strike again at the month end if the management does not compromise, the union says.

During this year's spring offensive, workers at private railaway companies and postal workers' unions also went on strike.


 およそ2万人の港湾労働者が、3月23日、全国の港で24時間ストライキを決行し た。今春闘で、労働者側は賃上げ(ベースアップ)と制度や政策要求を提示したが、経営 側は賃上げ交渉を棚上げする以前に「賃金交渉は産業別でなく企業別でやるべきだ」など と回答し、産業別で行う団体交渉を見直すことや、最低賃金制度を廃止することを提案し てきた。全港湾の伊藤彰信委員長は、これに対し「これはゼロ回答よりも後退したもの。 マイナス回答だと思っている」として、全国港湾労働組合として24時間ストに踏み切っ た。
 「産業別での組合や団体交渉は島国日本だからこそ大事だと思っている。多くの荷が出 入りする日本の港でこそ産業別組合を作って、労働者の権利を守る必要があると実感して いる」と全港湾横浜支部の中村書記長は言う。
 私鉄労働者がストを決行した3月20日、それに対して「通勤ができない」「不便だ」など とストを批判する声がメディアで紹介された。「今は、ナショナルセンターがストをしな い方針だから、ストをする組合が“過激”だと思われてしまう。今回の港湾労働者のスト は全国の港でやっている」と中村書記長は指摘する。事前には、「ストを最後までやりぬ いてほしい」といった激励の声も届いたという。
 港湾労働者側は、今後も会社側が交渉への歩み寄りを見せなければ、引き続きストを計 画する。29日にも予定しているが、交渉結果は4月までずれ込むとの見通しだ。(松元ちえ)

Monday, March 24, 2014

We will never go away!: Trade union formed

“Nakama (Peer) Union Otsuka Foods Company Local” was formed. The company is famous for retort-pouched “Bon Curry”. On March 13, 2014, members of the union notified its formation and filed a request not to force them to quit to the management at the Lake Biwa Research Institute of the food company. Otsuka solicited “voluntary” retirement of 190 employees, 25% of its workforce till March 17. However, its management has persistently forced target employees to quit despite their refusal to do so by saying, “No position for you” and “Your salary will drop by 40%”. Some of them have experienced this kind of interview even four times. The local has demanded the management to stop forcing the employees to leave. In addition, the local has requested Otsuka to appropriately explain its management responsibility and causes of soliciting “voluntary” retirement, concerning the current situation. (Nakama Union)



Defend our schools! Korean college students oppose discrimination against Korean schools

The six-month long campaign to denounce discrimination against Korean schools climaxed on March 9 at an event called, “Defend Our Schools! Korean College Students’ Nationwide Gathering to Oppose Discrimination against Korean Schools,” in Tokyo. The campaign, which set off last October by Korean college students in Japan, was aimed at introducing Korean schools to more people and providing an opportunity to think about discrimination against Korean schools, as well as inviting support and raising their voices against discrimination. CHONG Yong-Hwan, associate professor of Meiji Gakuin University, and FUJINAGA Takeshi, professor of Osaka Sangyo University spoke at a symposium about discrimination against Korean schools and Japan’s colonialism.
(OZAWA Kuniko )


 3 月9日、「守ろう!ウリハッキョ!朝鮮学校差別に反対する大学生全国集会」が、東京の 国立オリンピック記念青少年総合センターで行われました。これは、在日朝鮮人大学生たちが、より多くの人たちに朝鮮学校について知ってもらい、朝鮮学校を 取り巻く差別について考え、朝鮮学校を応援し、不公正な差別に声を上げてもらいたいと昨年10月から行ってきたキャンペーンの集大成として開催されまし た。「朝鮮学校差別の本質とは何か―朝鮮学校差別と日本の植民地主義」というシンポジウムがあり、明治学院大学准教授の鄭栄桓さんと、大阪産業大学教授の 藤永壯さんがお話しされました。(尾澤邦子)

Let me tell you why I came to refuse to sing the anthem

  Hello everyone, today I am graduating from high school.  After careful deliberation, I decided to refuse to sing the national anthem at the commencement we are going to attend, where all are supposed to stand up and sing. I am very pleased if you listen to my voice.
  It has been my resolution not to sing the anthem at commencement ceremony since I was a middle-school student. I must add that it was from my own will, and I was not advised to by my parents nor by anybody else. Until the day before the ceremony at the middle school three years ago, I had been bothered and worried over whether or not I should remain seated instead of standing up and singing. It was because I was the very person who was extremely afraid to do something different from others just like so many others. I was the one who knew more than anybody else the fear and consequences of sticking out. I used to be bullied. From my experiences of being bullied, I knew that I would be retaliated against if I did something different from others. It means if I said or did something out of the norm, people would make fun of me and accuse me of spoiling the atmosphere. However sincerely I tried to speak to them, I was downtrodden each time and ignored.
 Experiencing this has encouraged me and helped me express my conscience.
(Excerpts from a flier made by the graduating seniors on March 6); Blog "zaza"
See photo: a handout delivered in front of the high school on the day of the commencement on March 6. The student who wrote it carried out the resolution.


 こんにちは。私は今年○○高校を巣立つ三年生です。まず最初にことわっておきますが、私は、親に言われて君が代の不起立を決めたわけではありません。私は卒 業式での君が代の際、不起立を貫こうと中学生の時から決意しました。そんな私ですが、実は中学生の卒業式の直前まで私は不起立をするかしないか、とても悩 んでいました。なぜなら私は、何処にでもいる、自分だけ目立つのが怖い人間だからです。いえ、周りにとっての普通以上に私は怖いと感じていると思います。 それはイジメを受けた経験があるからです。人と違うことをすればどうなるかわかっていました。人と違うこと、多数の常識や雰囲気から外れたことをすれば、 イジメられる、馬鹿にされる、責められる。私がどれほどの思いを持っていたとしても、どんなに正直に話しても、それを無視する程の数によって踏みにじられ る。そんな経験を昔味わったことがあるからです。(3/6卒業生のチラシから)

‘Japan’s only fault is a criminal justice’: Domah of UN Committee against Torture says

  The UN commissioner who called Japan’s criminal justice system medieval gave a talk in Tokyo on March 4.
 “Japan is an honorable country, which has introduced many good things to the world and became successful,” said Satyabhoosun Gupt Domah, a former judge in Mauritius.
“But its only shortcoming is a problem of criminal justice such as substitute prison, overdependence upon confessions and extended detention. Even detaining for four days is said to be too long in Europe. The long detention in a substitute prison is torture.
 “Since Japan is not a dictatorship but a democracy country, I hope it will stop an act of torture, develop modern ways to investigate and introduce them to the world. It will be able to do so shortly if you want to change.”
 Listening to Domah’s speech, participants at the conference recognized that Japan is behind in respect for the human rights. (By M)


 2013 年5月の国連拷問禁止委員会で「日本の刑事司法は中世のよう」と発言したドマ委員(写真)が来日し、3月4日、日本弁護士連合会主催の集いで講演した。ド マさんは、アフリカ・モーリシャスの元判事。「日本はいいものを世界から導入して成功したりっぱな国。しかしその唯一の欠点が、代用監獄・自白偏重・長期 拘留など刑事司法の問題だ」と述べ、「ヨーロッパでは4日の勾留でも長すぎると言われている。日本の代用監獄での長期拘禁は拷問行為だ」と静かな語り口だ が、厳しく指摘した。「日本が専制国家でなく民主主義国家であるなら拷問行為はやめ、近代的取り調べ方法を編み出し、それを世界に売り込んでほしい。変え ようと思えばすぐ出来る」と力説した。会場の弁護士会館には、弁護士を中心に一般市民も参加、「人権後進国日本」を改めて認識する集いとなった。(M)

Keeping conscience alive: LaborNet TV “Postwar era for US base workers”

INA Takahiro (left), who had worked at an ammunition depot of the US Military in Okinawa since he was nineteen, said on March 12, 2014 on a LaborNet TV program, “The majority of US base employees were women in their 40s and 50s. They managed to survive the ground war in Okinawa and lost their family members. We are fed up with war, but we had no choice but to work at a US base to produce ammunition or cooperate for war efforts in Vietnam. Although we had to survive, we also felt conflicted so much”. He continued, “However, women were great. They led a strike in 1963 by forming a union called Zengunro – All Okinawa Federation of Unions at US Bases”. ISONO Naoshi, a staff writer of Okinawa Times local paper, carefully summarized testimonies of 83 US base workers in his book “Working at Military Bases – Postwar Era for US Base Employees”, despite frequent refusal of some base workers to talk to him. Mr. Isono energetically said, “They survived the ground war in Okinawa and have kept conscience in poverty. I wanted to write about this. It is important to pass down the history to the future generation in order not to repeat war”. (M)
 Photo flash


「米軍基地で働いていたのは40~50代の女性が多かった。沖縄戦を生き残った人、家族を失った人たちだ。戦争はこりごり。しかし基地の仕事しかなく、砲弾をつくったりベトナム戦争に加担させられた。生活のためとはいえ、その葛藤は大きかった」。米軍弾薬庫で19歳から働いてきた稲隆博さん(左)は、12日の 「レイバーネットTV」で基地労働の実態を語った。「でもおばさんの力はすごかった。1963年には全軍労という労働組合をつくりストライキで闘ったが、その主力がこの女性たちだった」。基地労働者の話を丹念に掘り起こし『基地で働く―軍作業員の戦後』をまとめた沖縄タイムス記者・磯野直さん(右)は、「何度も取材拒否にあいながら83人の証言をまとめた。沖縄戦をくぐり貧困の中で良心を守ってきた一人ひとりのことを伝えたかった。戦争を繰り返さないためにも、歴史を残し受け継いでいくことが大事だ」と力をこめた。(M)

Nuclear-free Fukushima Now! Nobel literature laureate appeals

On March 8, 2014, “Rallies for a Nuclear-Free Fukushima” were held in three major cities in Fukushima Prefecture (Fukushima, Koriyama and Iwaki) at the same time. The organizer of the rallies said, “Leakage of radioactive water has caused more serious problems. Pains and fears of people in Fukushima have never gone. Our wishes for denuclearization are even stronger now”. OE Kenzaburo (photo), a Nobel laureate for literature, questioned the responsibility of adults for the future generation, saying, “Despite that many Japanese people have learned from the Fukushima disaster that nuclear power plants are not absolutely safe, the Japanese Government starts to say that they are safe with excellent technologies. Are Japanese going to be deceived by the government again (after the tragedy in World War II)?” (MORI Miki)


3月8日、福島県内3箇所(福島市、郡山市、いわき市)同時開催による「原発のない福島を!県民大集会」が開催された。集会主催者からは「放射能汚染水漏れがますます深刻になってきている。県民の苦しみ・不安は一向に改善されていない。脱原発の思いはより強固に揺るぎないものになってきている」と、安心・安全を取り戻すことが共通の願いであることが訴えられていた。集会では多くの方々から発言があったが、作家の大江健三郎氏(写真)は「あれだけの大事故があり、原発が絶対に安全ではないと多くの日本人は知っているのに、もう原発は安全なのだと、優れた技術なのだと言い始めている。日本人はもう一度(第2次世界大戦に続いてもう一度)だまされようとしているのか?」と指摘、次世代の子どもたちが生きていける社会を残すことが必要と、大人の側の責任を問い質し た。(杜 海樹)

Remember Fukushima! Don’t restart nukes!: 32,000 joined anti-nuke action

Even three years have passed since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, 140,000 people are still forced to evacuate without being able to return home. On March 9, 2014, 32,000 participated in the “Joint Action for a Nuke-Free Society” hosted by three organizations including the Metropolitan Coalition Against Nukes. It was held at Hibiya Park in central Tokyo. There were desperate reports from Fukushima, Fukui and Ehime where there are nuclear power plants. SAKAMOTO Ryuichi, a world-renowned musician, introduced a memorial song he made after the Great East Japan Earthquake. After the rally, the participants marched to the parliament to hold another rally there. Jinta-ra Muta, a band of chindon-ya musical sandwichmen, sang “Unyielding People”, and KAN Naoto, former prime minister, and SHII Kazuo, the leader of the Japanese Communist Party, strongly criticized the pro-nuclear policies of the current Abe administration. (Shinya)
On March 8, another anti-nuke rally was held in the Kansai district, and the above action in Tokyo was followed by a subsequent one on March 15, which was joined by more than 5,000. Thus, various events were held to commemorate the third anniversary of the Fukushima disaster in all around Japan.
 Video (By KINOSHITA Masaaki, 8 minutes)

福島を忘れるな!再稼働を許すな!~3.9 原発ゼロ大統一行動に3万2千人


Radiation-exposed workers demand, “Stop stealing our salaries!”

At 9am on March 14, 2014, many workers at the still troubled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear demanded Maeda Corporation, a construction company that handles decontamination, to improve their working conditions. HIRAGA Yujiro, their leader, expressed his anger, saying, “Do you know why we are so angry? It’s because some of our salaries have been stolen despite that we are doing something very crucial for Japan”. There are three thousand decontamination workers in Naraha Town, Fukushima Prefecture where Maeda contracts for decontamination. Each of the workers can earn only ten to twelve thousand yen (100 to 120 US dollars) a day. They are eligible for an extra ten thousand yen as a “danger allowance”, but the extra amount has disappeared somewhere. Their working conditions remain dismal despite a fatal accident. About 200 workers protested the construction company. Maeda kept its door closed at first, but some representatives of the workers were allowed into its building and their demands were accepted. They continued their actions to demand the improvement in their working conditions at Tokyo Electric Power Company, the operator of Fukushima Daiichi, and the relevant government ministries. (M)



Monday, March 10, 2014

‘Two months since the Osprey deployment, 318 illegal flights reported’

Although the U.S.-Japan agreement stipulates that Ospreys not fly over the residential area, 318 of 517 flights have been reported as violation of the agreement during the two months since the Osprey deployment. MATSUMOTO Tsuyoshi (Photo), deputy managing editor of the Ryukyu Shimpo newspaper, reported at an event called, “2.22 Rally to call for no Ospreys over Okinawadangerous, illegal and more burden.” Some 250 people came to the event held in Tokyo.
Nevertheless the Okinawa Defense Bureau says it “does not recognize the flights as illegal.” The mayor and the residents of Ginozason Ward where intense military training exercises have been conducted are staging protest actions such as continuing to shoot footage of the Osprey deployment and to send a DVD to U.S. President Barack Obama. (By OZAWA Kuniko)
Photos by shinya

2 月22日(土)午後1時半から東京の文京区民センターで、「やっぱり危険、今でも違反、負担軽減はまやかしだ~沖縄の空にオスプレイはいらない2.22集 会」が行われ、205人が参加しました。「琉球新報」編集局次長の松元剛さん(写真)が、沖縄からの報告を行いました。オスプレイについては、実際に映像 を映しながら話してくれました。「市街地では飛ばない」などの日米合意があるにもかかわらず、配備2か月で確認517件のうち318件が違反飛行であった とのこと。しかし沖縄防衛局は「違反と認識せず」と言う。激しい訓練が続く宜野座村では、区長と区民が映像を撮りためて米オバマ大統領にDVDを送付する などの抗議行動を行っています。(尾澤邦子)  


Defendant WATANABE Miki failed to keep his promise; absent from the first hearing for Watami karoshi lawsuit

“I don’t know how much….,” began MORI Tsuyoshi, but choked up fighting back the tears. After a while, he continued, “I’m not sure how much I spoke for my daughter, who died all alone, but in court I expressed all I had in mind.” (Photo/ at the report-back meeting after the trial)  The first court hearing of Watami karoshi lawsuit was held at the Tokyo District Court (TAKEDA Mitsuhiro being the presiding judge) on Feb. 17. The case was filed by the bereaved parents of MORI Mina, who committed suicide from overwork only two months after joining the Japanese pub chain Watami Co. Each of the parents made the opening statement and accused of Watami for awful working conditions. People were closely watching whether or not the defendant, WATANABE Miki, the former Watami president, would appear in the court, but on the day his attorney showed up without the defendant.
“I’m repentant,” Watanabe said in a meeting for the Liberal Democratic Party. “I will spend the rest of my life making up for it.” His irresponsible attitude with empty words evoked strong anger among the people gathering for the meeting after the hearing. (By M)

「一生かけて償う」はずの渡邉美樹氏 出廷せず~「ワタミ過労死裁判」第1回口頭弁論

「美 菜の思いをどれだけ・・」と言い始めた森豪さんは絶句。しばらく下を向いて必死にこらえる。そして途切れ途切れに言葉を継いだ。「一人で死んでいった娘の 気持ちを思うと、どれだけのことが言えたか心元ない。でも、現在思い浮かぶことだけは、法廷で述べさせていただいた」(写真/報告集会)。2月17日午 後、入社後2ヶ月余で「過労自殺」に追い込まれた森美奈さんの「ワタミ過労死裁判」第1回弁論が、東京地裁(竹田光弘裁判長)で開かれた。被害者両親・森 豪さんと祐子さんが冒頭陳述を行い、娘を死に追いやったワタミの凄まじい職場実態を告発した。被告の渡邉美樹氏の出廷が注目されたが、被告席は代理弁護人 だけ。渡邉氏は「悔いている。一生かけて償う」と自民党部会で発言する一方、この日は大阪の就職セミナーに出席していた。その口先だけの無責任ぶりに、報 告集会では怒りの声が上がった。(M)

Labornet TV on NHK – Bring back the democratic NHK!

Since the Abe administration came into power, an abnormal situation in the Japan  Broadcast _Corporation(NHK) is continuing. The situation deteriorated after MOMII Katsuto became NHK president. He collected letters of resignation from all the governors in NHK on the first day of his office. Asked for the reason of this action at the Budget Committee of the Lower House on February 26th, he replied “It is normal in private companies to collect letters of resignation from executive board members.” If we let things go, NHK will become a government controlled broadcasting network whose sole aim is to promote the Abe cabinet’s policies. On February 27th Labornet TV broadcast a special feature program on NHK to expose the lies of Momii and two governors, HYAKUTO Naoki and HASEGAWA Michiko. NAGATA Kozou, a former NHK producer, reflected on the history of the network, “NHK was made to disseminate true information to contribute to the development of democracy. But the staff became conservative due to their privileged environment and started to restrain themselves. There are still some directors and reporters with backbone left in NHK. The union in NHK should ask for the resignation of president Momii. It is time for NHK to act together with the citizens to return to the starting line, a democratic NHK. (M) 
Photo: Nagata Kozou on the right

こ れほど不適格なNHK会長はいない。26日の衆院予算委員会の分科会で、籾井会長は、就任初日に10人の理事全員に辞表を書くよう求めたことについて「辞 表を預かったことで理事が萎縮するとは思わない。一般社会ではよくあることだ」と開き直った。NHKのおかしさは安倍政権登場以降きわだっていたが、籾井 会長就任で一気に加速した。このままではNHKは、「戦争・原発推進」の安倍政権の「大本営」御用放送になってしまう。いまNHKはどうなっているのか、 そして公共放送を取り戻すためにどうしたらいいのか。27日のレイバーネットTVでは、内部事情をよく知る元NHK統括プロデューサーの永田浩三さん、籾 井会長発言にいち早く反対の声を上げた「バウラック」の西野瑠美子さんを交えて、NHK問題に徹底的に迫った。(レイバーネットTVプロジェクト) 


何 冊もの本と分厚い資料をスタジオに持参した西野瑠美子さん。「日本軍が慰安所設置に関与した証拠は400点をこえる。ほかの国で慰安所を作ったのはナチス ドイツだけ。籾井会長の“どこの国にもあった”はとんでもないウソ」。27日のレイバーネットTVで、籾井・百田・長谷川発言の虚偽性が次々に暴かれた。 「放送法にも書いてあるが、正確な情報を伝え『民主主義の発達に資するために』NHKはつくられた」。元プロデューサーの永田浩三さんは、NHKの歴史を 振り返る。「職員も恵まれた環境の中で保守的になり、政権の圧力がなくても“自主規制”するようになってしまった。でも気骨あるディレクターや記者はまだ 残っている。日放労も籾井会長辞任を求めるべきだ。いまこそ“民主主義NHK”の原点を取り戻すために、市民と一緒に行動を起こすときだ」と熱く語った。 (M)