Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Water is a human right – “What’s going on with water in Japan?”

 In 2013, Vice Prime Minister ASO Taro said in the US, “We will privatize water supply in all around Japan”. At the Osaka City Council, discussions on water privatization have been going on. On November 20, 2016, a rally “What’s going on with water in Japan?” was held at Meiji University in central Tokyo, joined by approximately 100. Three lecturers –  HASHIMOTO Junji, a water journalist; NASU Rie, a member of Ota Ward Assembly in Tokyo; and UCHIDA Shoko, a staff of PARC (Pacific Asia Resource Center), discussed various aspects about water, such as the basics water supply, actions of local governments, and water privatization around the world. Uchida introduced examples in the Philippines and Indonesia where water rates quintupled due to privatization, seriously affecting the poor in both countries. She emphasized, “Water is a human right. It is possible for us to live without electricity but not without water. Therefore, water supply basically has to be publicly managed. But this is not enough. It is important how to properly manage water supply”. It is said that 748 million people around the world have no access to safe drinking water. The “Public Water Forum”, which hosted this rally, will hold various relevant events”. (M)


2013年麻生副総理は、アメリカの講演で「日本の水はすべて民営化する」と語った。いま大阪市議会では、「水道民営化」の議論が進んでいる。こうした中、1120日明治大学で 「どうなってるの?日本の水」キックオフ集会が開催され、約100名が集まった。講師は橋本淳司(水ジャーナリスト)、奈須りえ(太田区議)、内田聖子(PARC)の3氏で、水道水の基本の話・自治体の動き・世界の民営化など多角的に討論された。内田さんは、民営化によって水道料金が5倍に上がり、貧困層に打撃を与えたフィリピンやインドネシアの実例を紹介した。「水は人権。電気はなくても生きられるが水がないと死んでしまう。だから水道は公営を基本にすべき。しかし公営ならうまくいくわけではない。どうやったらうまく機能させるかが大事」と強調した。また、安全な飲料水を利用できない人は世界に74800万人もいるという。主催は「みんなで水ひろば」で、今後、講演会やイベントなどを行っていく。(M 

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