Monday, May 26, 2014

“Don’t destroy the Constitution!” – Protest in front of the Prime Minister’s Office

On May 15, 2014, the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security, a private advisory panel of Japan’s Prime Minister ABE Shinzo, filed a “report” to him. Based on the report, Abe expressed his consideration for using the right to collective self-defense at a press conference. Thus, he is going to nullify Article nine of the Japanese Constitution, which denounces war, and send Japan’s Self Defense Forces overseas to war. In the evening of that day, many people came to the front of the Prime Minister’s Office to protest, saying, “Don’t play with the Constitution!” “The Abe Administration is unconstitutional!” and “Don’t destroy the Constitution!”. Once Japan is involved in war, Japan also possibly becomes a battlefield. (Shinya)
Two days before, a human chain was organized to surround the Diet amid a tense situation that the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security, a private advisory panel of Japan’s Prime Minister ABE Shinzo, would present him a report to “approve use of the right to collective self-defense” on as early as May 15. Many carried placards, saying, “Draft again”, “Never forget the tragedy of war”, and “Are we going to make war again?” Each of them reflected their anger and senses of danger. The number of the demonstrators finally reached approximately 2,500 to surround the Diet. On this day, many junior high school students visited the building. When one of the demonstrators told them, “We defend the peace constitution for you and never allow war”, the students were waving happily. TAKADA Ken, the organizer of the action, appealed, “It was decided that the report would be filed to the Prime Minister on May 15, followed by Abe’s press conference. We will say no to his pro-war stance as the sovereign here at 6pm on that day again”. (M)





Raise the wage for fast food workers to 1,500 yen/hour! – Demonstration in central Tokyo

On May 15, 2014, there were simultaneous global actions in thirty-five countries to demand respect for fast food workers’ rights and fair wages to them. In Japan, the action was organized mainly by the Tokyo Young Contingent Workers' Union, and the participants walked through a fashionable street in the Shibuya district in central Tokyo. They said, “We don’t need to work overtime and can afford to enjoy dinner or dating with 1,500 yen an hour”. The action got a positive reaction from people working in the district. They told me about their hourly wages, “950 yen”, “1,100 yen” and “1,200 yen”, all of which are still low. In front of a Sukiya beef bowl shop and a McDonald’s, the demonstrators demanded fair wages of minimum 1,500 yen an hour, showing placards written in Japanese, English and Spanish. Many media outlets covered the action. (M)


ファストフード労働者の権利を尊重し公正な賃金を! 515日、世界35ヶ国で同時アクションが取り組まれた。日本では、首都圏青年ユニオンなどが中心になって渋谷センター街を練り歩いた。「時給1500円になれば残業しないでやっていける。食事もデートもできる」。大きな声を張り上げる一行に、センター街のお店で働く人たちの反応もいい。店の人に時給を聞くと「950円」「1100円」「1200円」という答え。やはり低い。すき家とマクドナルドの前では、日本語・英語・スペイン語のプラカードを掲げ、 「公正な賃金、時給1500円以上を」と訴えた。メディアの関心が高く、カメラの人垣が出来た。(M