Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"Don't restart dangerous nuclear power plants!": 10,000 Angry Citizens Gather in front of PM's Office


As the government hastily moved towards the restart of operation of Oi Nuclear Power Plant, many protest actions were organized across the country by citizens during the first half of June.       
In Tokyo, 2700 people gathered in front of the Prime Minister's Official Residence on June 1 for the Friday evening demonstration. The number of participants in this weekly action that several anti-nuke groups in the Metropolitan area started in March grew rapidly as the information spread through Twitter and other means on internet.
On June 8, an estimated 4000 protesters listened to the radio broadcast of the announcement by Prime Minister NODA Yoshihiko to restart two idled reactors of Oi Nuclear Power Plant live through amplifiers prepared by action organizers. Outraged, they started shouting before the announcement was over. As it finished, the cries turned into a roar of "No to restart!"in unison and lasted for half an hour. 
The number of participants of the following week, 15 June, was well above 10,000. The sidewalk along the subway exits was soon filled with people all the way down from the corner facing to the Prime Minister's Office. The police ultimately made part of the road available for the protesters.
As the media reported that the government would make the decision on 16 June, people were were with anger. "Nuclear plants are too dangerous. Operation should never be resumed." "Save the children!" "People's lives are more important than the economy." "The process so far is not at all democratic." Many ordinary citizens, including young men and women, office workers, housewives and students took the microphone and expressed their opinions. So did some no-nukes activists/entertainers and Diet members including those from the ruling Democratic Party.
The media coverage of these protests was limited. Though there were more than 100 reporters on the site on June 15, no reports were aired on TV or radio news programmes that night. Among major newspapers available in the Tokyo Metropolitan area, only one national daily had an article without a photo the following morning. People opposing to the restart were increasingly frustrated with mass media.     
In the vicinity of the Prime Minister's Official Residence, various groups conducted protest actions on other days as well. (See another article on the die-in by women from Fukushima) .
On June 14, OE Kenzabro, a Nobel laureate writer, and other representatives of the No Nukes 10 Million Signatures Campaign met with Chief Cabinet Secretary FUJIMOTO Osamu in the Prime Minister's Official Residence to submit 7,222,297 signatures collected by the beginning of June. The rally and march for the first interim report of the Campaign was held on June 6 in Hibiya Koen Park in the central business and administrative area with some 2300 participants.


15日の参加者はついに1万人を超えた。官邸前からメトロ沿いの歩道はぎっしり埋まり、警官隊もついに車道の一部を開放して、人並みの整理にあたった。「16日にも最終決定」と報道され るなか、人々の怒りはピークに達していた。「とにかく危険な原発を絶対にやめてくれ」「子どもを守りたい」「経済より命」「日本は民主主義国ではないの か」「なぜマスコミは反対の声を報道しないのか」オープンマイクで若者・サラリーマン・女性・主婦・学生が次々に訴えた。山本太郎、藤波心、民主党や共産 党の国会議員もマイクを握った。
大手メディアによる このような抗議行動の報道は、極めて限られていた。15日夜の首相官邸前には100名を越える取材陣が集まったが、TV/ラジオでは全くとりあげられず、翌日の新聞は全国紙一社が写真もない小さな記事を載せたのみ。市民は大手メディアへも怒りを募らせている。

"We are happy with the union despite harassment and discrimination": Struggle of Miyako Mainichi Union

The Labornet TV program No. 34 broadcast on June 14 featured the struggle by union members of a daily newspaper in Miyakojima, a small island of Ryukyu Archipelago. The Miyako Mainichi Union was organized in 2006 aiming to address the issue of non-regular employment in the company. Immediately after the establishment of the union, severe harassment by the president started. Union members were removed from the mainstream editorial work, harassed, bullied and discriminated. Proposals for collective bargaining were repeatedly refused. However, defiant union members were on strike. "We have been bullied all the time since the start of the union activity, but we are stronger with it. It is not possible to confront with the management alone. We can express opinions, take actions and fight with the management because we are united," said ONKAWA Junji (center in the photo), the chief executive of the union.  
The secretary general of the union, YAMASHITA Makoto, was on strike and joined the program in the island over the phone. "Through union activity, I learned a lot about fellow workers, work, human beings and life," he said.  
Though small in membership and located in a tiny remote island, Miyako Mainichi Union were struggling for human dignity. The audience and staff in the studio were deeply impressed. The program certainly touched upon the basics of the labor union movement. (by M)   


614日のレイバーネットTV34号は、琉球列島・宮古島の「宮古毎日新聞争議」を特集した。非正規問題を取り上げて2006年に組合をつくった宮古毎 日労組に対して、社長は猛烈な嫌がらせを開始した。本来の編集の仕事を奪い、いじめ・差別・団交拒否を繰り返した。でも組合は負けずにストライキでたた かっている。恩川委員長(写真中央)は語る。「いじめばかりだったが組合をつくってよかった。一人で経営者に対抗することはできないが組合があるから意見 が言える。行動できる。たたかえる」。
現地から電話参加したスト中の山下書記長も「組合で、仲間のこと、働くこと、人間のこと、そして生きることを学ん だ」と述べた。宮古島の小さなたたかいは「人間の尊厳」をかけた大きなたたかいだった。スタジオにも共感が広がり、労働組合の原点に触れる番組になった(M)

Welfare is a Right, not a Benefit: Anti-Poverty Campaign Network Hold a Press Conference


Though it is commonly regarded as a benefit extended by the government, the livelihood subsidy is based on the right to live. Receiving welfare money should therefore be understood as a right, not a benefit," said Lawyer UTSUNOMIYA Kenji (center in the photo), the representative of the Anti-Poverty Campaign Network, in a press conference on June 11. The organization called the press conference to brief on the statement regarding recent moves by the government toward welfare revision. It was held in the press club of Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. 
The review results of "Urgent Telephone Consultation on Welfare," conducted on June 9, was also presented in the venue. 363 calls were answered via a total of 16 phone lines prepared in 6 locations nationwide.
"Almost all callers said that they would rather die," said GOKAN Kazuhiro of the Network for Comprehensive Consultation Service for Homeless People. He reported that cruel words by politicians had hurt recipients of livelihood subsidy and made an increased number of them feel suicidal. (by MATSUMOTO Chie)



生活保護は国家の恩恵と受け取られやすいが、生存権に基づく制度であり、恩恵でなく権利として受けられる制度である――反貧困ネットワーク代表の宇都宮健児 弁護士(写真中央)は、611日の記者会見で発言した。この会見は、この間の生活保護制度を改悪するような動きに対して同団体が声明を発表したことか ら、厚生労働省の記者クラブで行われた。会場では、9日に行われた「生活保護緊急相談ダイヤル」からの結果報告もあった。全国6会場に設置された16回線 には合計で363件の相談が寄せられた。ホームレス総合相談ネットワークの後閑一博氏は「受話器を取るたびに『もう死んでしまいたい』という言葉が発せら れるような電話相談だった」と語り、政治家の不用意な発言から「つらい」「死んでしまいたい」と思っている人が増えていると報告した。(松元ちえ)

Apologize and Compensate for Forced Labor ! : Protest Action Take Place in front of Fujikoshi Tokyo HQ


 Korean women who were forcefully brought to Japan during the colonial period and worked for Fujikoshi staged a protest action with their supporters on June 8 in Shiodome area, a business district in Tokyo. The action took place for two hours in the early afternoon in front of the building where the company's main office in Tokyo is located.  About ten of some 60 protesters were those visiting from Korea. Among them were plaintiffs of the Second Fujikoshi Forced Mobilization and Labor Lawsuits and their families, the representative of Citizen's Group to Support Surviving Halmoni of Japanese Labor Corps based in Kwangju, a documentary filmmaker and a reporter of the Hankyoreh, a Korean daily newpaper. Participants from Japan were members of various unions and citizens' groups including Hokuriku Committee to Support the Second Fujikoshi Forced Mobilization and Labor Lawsuits, National Network for Lawsuits against Companies Involved in Forced Labor, Supporters of Plaintiffs of the Korean Female Labor Corp Case against Nagoya Mitsubishi, Kanagawa City Union and Kansai Cement Branch of Rentai Union.
In the rally, the victims of the forced labor, Kim Jeong-ju, Choe Hui-sun and Kim Gye-sun (photo) spoke of mortification, followed by chants of anger denouncing Fujikoshi by all the participants. (by SATO Kazuyuki)


68日正午から2時まで、汐留住友ビル前において、不二越東京本社抗議行動が展開されました。 韓国から来日したのは、第2次不二越強制連行・強制労働訴訟 原告団とその家族、光州市で活動する「勤労挺身隊ハルモニと共にする市民の会」代表、ドキュメンタリー映像作家、ハンギョレ新聞の記者など約10名。日本 側は、同訴訟を支援する北陸連絡会、強制連行・企業責任追及裁判全国ネットワーク、名古屋三菱・朝鮮女子勤労挺身隊訴訟を支援する会、神奈川シティユニオ ン、連帯ユニオン関西生コン支部などから、約50名が結集しました。社前集会で、当該の金正珠さん・崔姫順さん・金啓順さん(写真)は悔しさを訴え、参加 者全員で怒りのシュプレヒコールを不二越に叩きつけました。(佐藤和之) 

Anger and Prayer: Fukushima Women Conduct a Die-in

"Don't restart the operation of Oi Nuclear Power Plant, " read the letter to the Prime Minister that women from Fukushima handed to officials of Cabinet Office in the afternoon of June 7. Several hundred citizens gathered in front of Prime Minister's Official Residence on the day in response to the call for protest action by Fukushima Women against Nukes.
Nearly 15 months after the disaster of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, people of Fukushima still face enormous difficulties: Under the regulations that set 20mSv/year as the safety limit of exposure to radiation, those remain in their home towns live with a constant fear for health damages anticipated in the future and others who fled to safer places are separated from their families. The letter highlighted the continuing tragedy in Fukushima and strongly denounced the government of Prime Minister NODA Yoshihiko that had declared the settlement of the nuclear disaster before the cause of which had been determined and been heading toward exports of nuclear reactors and restart of nuclear power plants in Japan. Upon the delivery of the letter, 13 representatives of the protesters demanded a prompt reply from the government.
After debriefing for other protesters, women from Fukushima conducted a die-in for 10 minutes (photo) , accompanied by solemn music of cello. The action was concluded with Kansho Odori, a folk dance of Aizu Region of Fukushima that expresses people's anger and gratitude to the gifts of the earth. Participants danced together sharing anger with the imminent restart of nuclear reactors and prayer for the peaceful nuclear-free world. (by NISHINAKA Seiichiro)


「大 飯原発の再稼働をしないで下さい」。67日午後、「原発いらない福島の女たち」が呼びかけ、首相官邸前に数百人が集まり、代表13名が野田首相宛の要望 書を内閣府に手渡した。福島原発事故から1年以上が経過した現在も、福島県内では年間被曝線量20mSv基準が押し付けられ、将来の健康被害に怯えなが ら、県内外で家族離散の避難生活を続けざるを得ない厳しい現状や、事故原因すら判明しないにも関わらず、事故収束宣言したり、原発輸出や再稼働を推し進め ようとする野田政権の責任を厳しく追及し、要望書への早急な回答を求めた。首相官邸前で待っていた人々への報告後、チェロの荘厳な音楽が奏でられる中、 10分間の「ダイイン」(写真)が行われた。行動の最後に、会津地方の民衆の怒りと大地の恵みに感謝する「かんしょ踊り」を参加者全員で踊り、原発再稼働 反対の怒りと、原発のない平和な人類社会への祈りが首相官邸前に満ちあふれた。(西中誠一郎) 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Believe in people power!~Urgent action at Prime Minister’s Office against resumption of Oi Nuclear Power Plant


Dont decide by yourself, PM Noda! About 200 people joined the urgent action at Prime Ministers Office on May 31, when the Cabinet ministers meeting was held. People wore tense, angry expressions on their faces as the prime minister was threatening to restart Oi Nuclear Power Plant. We cannot let the four ministers ignore our calls. We cannot give up now. We must raise our voices together with people of Fukui Prefecture and let the prime minister hear them, said SUGIHARA Koji, one of the action organizers. Aside of Noda, Minister of State for Nuclear Power Policy and Administration HOSONO Goshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry EDANO Yukio and Chief Cabinet Secretary FUJIMURA Osamu attended the meeting. 
 Considering the safety alone, Oi plant should not be restarted, YANAGIDA Makoto of No Nukes Plaza Tanpopo-sha said of Oi plant, which has no vent systems or earthquake-resistant management facilities. The two-week period from today is very important. Believe in our power that drove all 50 nuclear power plants to suspension. Lets put all our hearts into this action. Yanagida called for joint actions planned at nuclear plants in Fukui and Ehime prefectures, which are threatened for restart. (By M)

「野 田首相、勝手に決めるな!」。大飯原発再稼動に大きく政府が動く中、531日夜、「閣僚会議に抗議!官邸前緊急アクション」が行われ約200人が参加し た(写真)。参加者の表情は険しかった。主催者の杉原浩司さんは「4閣僚の暴挙は許せない。ここであきらめるわけにはいかない。福井現地と連携して、官邸 にきちんと声をぶつけていこう」と訴えた。たんぽぽ舎の柳田真さんは「大飯原発には免震重要棟もベントもない。安全面だけでも再稼動はまったくおかしい。 これからの2週間が大事だ。これまで50基の原発を止めてきた私たちの力を信じて、全力をつくそう」と語り、福井(6/3)・伊方(6/10)の現地結集 や様々な行動への参加を訴えた。(М)