Tuesday, March 21, 2017

100-hour overtime a month is not acceptable!

On March 13, 2017, the Japanese Government, Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) and Rengo (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) agreed to limit monthly overtime work to 100 hours. In response to the agreement, an emergency meeting was held on March 15, organized by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, Diet members and bereaved family members of karoshi (death from overwork) victims, and joined by 200. Teranishi Emiko, the leader of the Families Dealing with Karoshi, read a message from TAKAHASHI Yukimi whose daughter committed suicide after working for excessively long hours, “Human beings are not computers or robots. I strongly oppose 100-hour overtime a month”. A bereaved family from Kyoto said, “My husband was healthy but lost his life at the age of 40 after working overtime for 80 hours a month. 100-hour overtime a month is never acceptable”. KIRIKI Hiroko, from Miyazaki, Kyushu, lost her 23-year old son. He committed suicide as a result of excessive overwork. She strongly appealed, “I am really sad that suicide was the only way for him to escape from work. Is this right? It is a ‘murder’ to force deadly volume of work”. SUZUKI Tsuyoshi, the Secretary General of Japan Community Union Federation, affiliated with Rengo, strongly criticized the confederation that agreed with the government and the management over regulations on the limit of monthly overtime, saying, “I am hated in Rengo, but does it deserve to be a union without supporting karoshi-bereaved families?” Nine opposition Diet members swore that they block the bill to limit monthly overtime work to 100 hours from being passed at the Diet session. (M)  Photo flash and video (9 minutes 46 seconds)


3月13日、政府・経団連・連合のトップが「月残業 100時間規制」で合意した。これを受けて、15日、日弁連・国会議員・過労死遺族などによる院内集会が緊急に開かれた。集会で は、6人の遺族が登壇し必死の訴えをした。過労死家族の会代表の寺西笑子さんは、電通で娘を失った母親・高橋幸美さんの「人間はコンピューターでもロボットでもない。月100時間残業を認めることに強く反対します」というメッセージを読み上げた。京都の遺族は「健康な夫が40歳で倒れた。夫は月80時間の残業だったが80時間で人は死ぬ。100時間を認めてはいけない」。宮崎からやってきた桐木弘子さん(写真)は、23歳の息子を過労自死で失った。「仕事から逃れる方法が自殺しかなかったことが悔しい。それでいいのか。死に至る残業を押しつけることは“殺人”だ」と強く訴えた。労使合意した連合加盟の全国ユニオン・鈴木剛会長が挨拶。「私は連合で嫌われているが、過労死遺族に寄り添わなくてなにが組合か?」と連合のあり方を痛烈に批判した。集会には約200人が集まった。野党議員も9人登壇し、「100時間規制の法案」を許さず国会でたたかうと決意を述べた。(M) 写真速報・動画(9分46 秒)

6 years since 3.11 – Mourning and anger in front of TEPCO HQ

“TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company), apologize! Give Fukushima back to us!” On March 11, 2017, the sixth anniversary of the disaster of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, 550 people expressed mourning and anger in front of TEPCO headquarters in central Tokyo. Famous writers delivered speeches against nuclear power, followed by various performances in protest against the electric power company. Then, evacuees from Fukushima expressed their hardship that they have endured since that day. KAMEYA Sachiko, from Futaba Town, Fukushima, said, “We want to return home but we cannot”. MATSUMOTO Noriko said, gazing at the TEPCO headquarters, “TEPCO should make sure to provide housing to us. Do not force us evacuees to be exposed to radiation. If a nuclear disaster occurs again, there will be even more internally displaced persons like us”. The organizer of the rally gave a letter to the manager of the Nuclear Power Center of the company. The manager said, “We are sorry for still bothering many people”, followed by an outcry from one of the rally participants, “Think about it seriously! No more nukes!” (M) Photo flash, video (6 minutes), photos (shinya)


「東電は謝れ!福島を返せ!」。原発事故から6年目になった3月11日午後、東京電力前には約550人の市民が集まり、「追悼と怒り」に包まれた。手がかじかむ寒さのなか、神田香織、落合恵子、鎌田慧ら各氏のトークをはじめ、歌あり踊りありの賑やかな抗議行動が続いた。福島からの避難者が次々にマイクを握った。「帰りたいけど帰れない」、やり場のない怒りを双葉町の亀屋幸子さんは訴えた。松本徳子さんは「東電は住宅提供をちゃんとしてくれ、被ばくを強要しないでほしい。原発はもういらない。事故が起きたら私たちのような国内難民がまた生まれる」と東電本店をにらみながらアピールした。集会の代表が東電に申し入れ書を手渡した。受け取った原子力センター所長は「いまだに多くの人に迷惑をかけて申し訳ない」とコメントした。そそくさと立ち去るかれらの背中に「真剣に考えてくれ!これ以上原発はいらない!」の怒号が飛んだ。(M) 写真速報動画(6分)

Abe Administration is dangerous, praising the “Imperial Rescript of Education”

At night of March 9, 2017, 600 people filled the space in front of the Office of the Prime Minister in central Tokyo, carrying placards to demand the ultranationalist school scandal be thoroughly investigated. Many Diet members and intellectuals referred to the recitation of the “Imperial Rescript of Education” by ultranationalist kindergarten pupils. KAMIMOTO Mieko, an opposition Democrat of the House of Councilors and a former schoolteacher, stepped into the history of the rescript, saying, “’If our country is in danger, go to war’. This was to mobilize the people for war, and all pupils and junior high school students were asked to repeat this phrase. The rescript was kept at a holy place and protected by a schoolmaster for life. It was abolished after World War II, but Defense Minister INADA Tomomi still says, ‘There are some positive aspects in the rescript’. Her historical perception is simply wrong, but it is terrible that such a dangerous person has become Japan’s Defense Minister. The ultranationalist school scandal is not only related to the unfair obtainment of state-owned land but also in close relation with the educational policies of the Abe administration that has promoted war policy”. Actions against the ultranationalist school scandal will be carried out every Thursday in front of the Diet Members’ Building. (M) Photo flash, video (4 minutes 14 seconds)


3月9日夜の官邸前は、「森友疑惑徹底糾明」を求めるプラカードと人々で埋まった。国会議員や文化人がスピーチしたが、その多くが「教育勅語」暗唱問題を取り上げた。教員出身の民進党・神本美恵子議員は「教育勅語」の歴史に踏みこんだ。「『一旦緩急アレハ義勇公ニ奉シ(国に危機があったなら戦争に行きましょう)』という教育勅語は戦争動員のためのもので、当時全ての小中学校で暗唱させられた。勅語は、奉安殿という神聖な場所に納められていて校長は命がけで守っていた。戦後廃止されたが、それを稲田防衛大臣は“教育勅語にもいいところがある”などと発言している。歴史認識が間違いすぎているが、こういう人が防衛大臣をやっていることが恐ろしい。森友問題は国有地不正だけでなく、戦争政策をすすめる安倍政権の教育方針とつながっていることを見ていく必要がある」と強調した。この日は600人が集まったが、森友疑惑糾明を求める行動はこれから毎週木曜日に議員会館前で行われる。(M) 写真速報・動画(4分14 秒)

What does “Riben Guizi” mean? – From the viewpoint of a Japanese in China

On March 5, 2017, about fifty persons joined a lecture by YAMANABE Yukiko (photo) in a suburb of Tokyo. The title was “What did Japan do in China? – Chinese people from the viewpoint of Yamanabe Yukiko”. Yamanabe is a former hospital corpsperson for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. She regularly heard the word “Riben Guizi” (Japanese devils) in the army. A Chinese soldier only answered her, “You will gradually understand it” whenever she asked him about the meaning. The Chinese soldiers had such slogans as “Ready to die in anti-Japan struggle but not to be enslaved by futility” and “Death is not surrender to the enemy”. In 1949, the People Republic of China was founded after the end of the civil war in China. Four years later, Yamanabe returned to Japan with her husband and daughter. In Japan, they lived near the Tachikawa Base of the US Military (now closed), and Yamanabe did not like such a life in Japan. However, she was involved in the Sunagawa Struggle against the base rather than going back to China. And she found some hope in the struggle. (SASAKI Yumi) Video (3 minutes)


3月5日、東京・国分寺で山邉悠喜子さん(写真)の 講演会が開かれ約50名が集まった。講演のテーマは「日本は中国で何をしたのか―山邉悠喜子さんの見続けた中国民衆の姿」。山邊さんは中国人民解放軍看護兵の体験を持つ。山邊さんは「日本鬼子」(リーベンクイズ)ということばを軍隊の中で日常的に聞いていた。どんな意味かと質問すると、中国人兵士は答えず、「だんだんわかるよ」と言うばかり。かれらは、「抗日のために死んでも亡国の奴隷にはならない」「たとえ死んでも敵に屈しない」をスローガンに生きてきた。1949年に中国の内戦は終結。新しい中国が生まれた。1953年、山邊さんはついに帰国する。同じ軍にいた日本人の夫と娘が一緒だった。国立市に住み、立川基地が近かった。米軍基地が大きな顔をしている日本にはなじめなかった。中国に帰ろうと思った。そのとき、彼女をひきとめたのが、砂川闘争だった。米軍基地に反対する闘いに、希望を見出した。(佐々木有美) 報告・動画(3分)

No problem with 100-hour overtime a month? Stop joking!

There have been discussions on regulating working hours. On February 28, 2017, Yomiuri Shimbun, the biggest circulation newspaper in the world, carried stunning comments of SAKAKIBARA Sadayuki, Chairperson of Keidanren, “Monthly overtime of 100 hours is pretty appropriate” and “An excessively strict limit of overtime possibly weakens international competitiveness of companies”. What is “appropriate” with 100-hour overtime a month? Is it justified to sacrifice life and health of workers in the name of “international competitiveness”? Aequitas, a grassroots movement for the minimum wage of 1,500 Japanese yen per hour, tweeted this Yomiuri article, leading to 616,000 impressions, a total number of engagements of 47,000, and 7,000 retweets in just four days. This strong criticism against the comments of the Keidanren chairperson has led to an emergency protest action in front of the Keidanren building. Your support is very highly appreciated. (Aequitas)

月100時間残業OK?ふざけるな!~3月7日 経団連前 緊急抗議行動へ

現在、働き方改革を巡っての労働時間規制の議論が進められていますが、2月28日付読売新聞朝刊で経団連榊原会長の「(残業時間)月100時間はまあ妥当な水準」「あまりに厳しい上限規制を設定すると、企業の国際競争力を低下させかねない」といった問題発言が掲載されました。月100時間の残業上限のどこが「まあまあ妥当な水準」なのでしょうか。「国際競争力」のためなら労働者の生命や健康が犠牲にされてもいいのでしょうか。 強い憤りを感じます。最低賃金1500円の実現を目指す市民運動 Aequitasのツィッターで、 この報道記事を取り上げたところ、わずか4日の間に、61万6000 インプレッション(当該 ツィートがユーザーに表示された総回数)、総エンゲージメント数47,000以上、リツィート数が7000をこえるなど、大きな批判の声があがっています。そこで、経団連榊原の会長の発言に抗議する、緊急抗議行動を経団連前で行うことにしました。どうぞよろしくお願いいたします。(エキタス)

Monday, March 6, 2017

Victory for Malugo workers fighting for their jobs

Five members of the Malugo branch of the National Union of General Workers, Tokyo Tobu have been occupying a model gun shop in Tokyo since the end of last year to protest  closure of the shop. On 28th February, the union signed an agreement with the company stating that the company will retract the unfair dismissal, turn over the shop inventory to the workers as severance payment, and  lend the workers a nearby shop   so that they can continue the business. This is a victory for the workers who didn’t give in and for all Tobu Union members and supporters. The new shop “Take Five” will open in early March near Ueno station. (SUDA Mitsuteru)
Photo: Malugo union members with the agreement paper in their hands 

東部労組マルゴー支部の職場占拠闘争が解決!~新店舗「Take Five」で雇用を守る

上野・アメ横でモデルガンなどを販売しているミリタリーショップ「マルゴー」 の
場と生活を守ることができました! なお、同支部組合員が営業を行う新店舗はマル
ゴー本店よりも上野駅寄りにある区画で、新たな店名は「Take Five」です。3月上

写真: 解決合意書を手に喜びの組合員たち

Report: Friday Action on Feb. 24th

 Two protest actions took place around the Diet building on Friday February 24th. One was a No-nukes meeting from 6:30 pm to 8 pm held in three areas around the Diet building. The other action,  from 8 pm to 9:30 pm, sought to stop the dispatch of the Self Defense Force to South Sudan and demanded the resignation of the Defense Minister, INADA Tomomi. At the end of the second meeting, the organizer proposed to continue the action to protest the suspicious Morito Gakuen land deal in Osaka. The kindergarten made ABE Akie, the Prime Ministers’s wife, its honorary principle and is planning to open a new primary school, for which the government sold the land at a surprisingly cheap price. The Kindergarten has been praised by both Abes for its patriotic education and for having pupils recite the Imperial Rescript on Education issued in 1890. (KINOSHITA Masaaki)