Tuesday, October 28, 2008

News from the Scene in Seoul: Full-hearted Apology toward Harumoni (Nannies) Now! - Wednesday Demonstration Takes Place in Front of the Japanese Embas

 On October 15 (Wednesday) In front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, a regular Wednesday action took place for demanding the Japanese government to settle the issue of the sexual slavery facilitated by the Japanese Imperial Army. This rally is held on every Wednesday with latest one being the 835th. About 70 participants were not only from South Korea but also from overseas (the USA and Japan). The Japanese government has not reversed its stance that it will never make formal reparation as a state for victims of the sexual slavery. In recent years, the government has shown its very retrogressive attitude in that it has eliminated descriptions of so-called "military comfort women" from textbooks for public schools. Yun Mi Hyang, a joint representative of the he Council for the Solution of the Issue of the Volunteers Corps, emphasized, "Full-hearted apology toward harumoni is what I like to request to the Japanese government, the most." (Reporting: Masanori, Animation: UnionTube)

ソウル現地取材 : ハルモニに誠意ある謝罪を!日本大使館前水曜デモ

 10月15日(水)、韓国ソウルの日本大使館前で日本軍による軍隊「慰安婦」問題の解決を日本政府に要求する定期水曜デモが行なわれた。この集会は、毎週欠かさず水曜日に行なわれ、今回で835回を数える。集会には韓国内はもとより海外(アメリカ、日本など)からの参加者約70名が参加した。日本政府は、現在も軍隊慰安婦に対する国家としての正式な賠償は行なわないという態度をくずしていない。近年では、公立学校の教科書から軍隊「慰安婦」の記述を削除するという極めて後退した態度をとっている。韓国挺身隊問題対策協議会のユン・ミヒャン共同代表は、「日本政府に対して最も求めたいことは、ハルモ二に対する誠意ある謝罪だ」と強調した。(湯本雅典) 動画(UnionTube)

Block Extension of Fuel Supply Activity by SDF! -Article Nine Revision Blocking Association's Sit-in Goes on in Front of the Diet Building

 "Let's stop the SDF's fuel supply activity in the Indian Ocean." On October 14, the Article Nine Revision Blocking Association formed by the Zengakuren/Zenkyoto generation resumed sit-in protest in front of the Diet building (see photo). Forty members participate every day with appeals, "Put an end to the Aso administration that aims to make preemptive revision of Article 9" and "Democratic Party of Japan, don't use the bill for extending the new fuel supply law as a bargaining tool for Diet dissolution." In the House of Representatives, a session started for deliberation on the New Anti-terrorism Special Measures Law (New Law for MSDF Refuelin Activities in the Indian Ocean) on October 10, making the political situation tense as the law is to be sent to the House of Councilors after its adoption in a plenary session in the House of Representatives on 21st at the earliest. On 20th, citizen groups and labor unions will stage an emergency action in front of the Diet building. See homepages of the organizations involved.


 「自衛隊のインド洋給油活動をやめさせよう」と、全学連・全共闘世代の「9条改憲阻止の会」が、10月14日からふたたび国会前で座りこみを開始した(写真)。連日40名が参加し「9条改憲の先取りを狙う麻生内閣にとどめを刺そう」「民主党は“解散”の取引に給油新法延長法案を使うな」と訴えている。衆院では10日から新テロ対策特別措置法(インド洋派兵給油新法)の審議に入っており、21日にも衆院本会議採決で参院へ、という緊迫した状況になっている。20日には、市民団体・労働組合による国会前緊急行動が行われる。 当該HP

Meeting of Citizens and Diet Members for Radical Revision of the Temporary Staffing Services Law - Smashing Is the Only Solution for Proposition of th

Concerning the revision of the Temporary Staffing Services Law, the seedbed of the working poor, the Labor Policy Council made a proposition on September 24 to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. In opposition to the proposition, citizens and some Diet members had a meeting on October 9 in an Upper House conference room. The room was more than full of 150 participants from labor unions and the media. In relay talks, Satoshi Kamata, Takao Saito, Makoto Yuasa and Karin Amamiya emphasized before anything else the need for a move to change the basic framework of the gap-widening society while revealing that the Labor Policy Council's proposition could never remedy the situation in any sense. In this meeting, there was also an appeal from a member of the newborn union of detached cabin attendants for Turkish Airlines concerning the actual state of the disguised contracting practices involved. In concluding remarks, Asami Nakano from the Dispatched Workers' Network said with anger, "Today's talks have made me convinced that the Labor Policy Council's proposition must be smashed, not protested."



A DVD entitled "Iraq Veterans Uprising" Completed - Appeal from Patricia

A DVD entitled "Iraq Veterans Uprising" has now been completed. Patricia McCann of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) actively staging anti-war actions around the US visited Japan this summer by invitation of Zenko (National Assembly for Peace and Democracy" She gave talks to young people describing her Iraq War experiences as well as specifically introducing energetic activities of IVAW across the inside and outside the military. Patricia gave insight into the reality behind the fact that actually 72% of US troops are against the occupation. She also talked about their diversified activities criticizing the military recruiting operations targeting poor families. Her visit was a valuable one as the first opportunity to introduce IVAW and their activities to the Japanese. Please make good use of this DVD "Iraq Veterans Uprising" containing Patricia's words in her own voice. Footage: 25 minutes. Priced at \3000. Contact: MABUI CINE COOP (e-mail address: mabui1011@nifty.com)


 DVD「立ち上がるイラク帰還兵」が完成しました。全米各地で活発な反戦行動を繰り広げている「戦争に反対するイラク帰還兵の会(IVAW)」のパトリシア・マッカーンさんがこの夏、全交の招きで来日。IVAWの軍内外をむすぶ精力的な活動を具体的に紹介すると共に、彼女のイラク戦争体験を若者たちに語りました。パトリシアさんは、米軍兵士の実に72%が占領に反対している実態を明らかにし、また貧困家庭を狙いうちにした軍のリクルート活動を批判する様々な取り組みをしていることを、伝えてくれました。IVAWとは何か、どんな活動をしているのかを初めて紹介する貴重な訪日でした。パトリシアさんの肉声を収録したDVD「立ち上がるイラク帰還兵」をぜひご活用下さい。25分・3000円。(マブイ・シネコープ) 問合せ先(メール mabui1011@nifty.com )

4600 Attend National Youth Grand Rally - Giving Momentum to the Youth-based Anti-Poverty Campaign

On October 5, National Youth Grand Rally 2008 for Job for Decent and Humane Life was held in response to the call from the Metropolitan Youth Union and Zenroren (National Confederation of Trade Unions) Youth Chapter among other organizations in Meiji Park, Tokyo, making a great success by attracting 4600 participants. Young workers gave talks from the podium, representing those struggling against disguised contracting by Panasonic Plasma Display Co., Ltd. (renamed from Matsushita Plasma), Nichia Corporation and Canon. The rally received solidarity speeches from Kazuyoshi Ikeda from Gaten-kei Rentai (Japan Construction and Transport Industry Workers Solidarity Union), Chie Matsumoto fighting against the disguised contracting by Herald Asahi, Makoto Yuasa from the Anti-Poverty Network, Karin Amamiya, an author, among others. A youth rally of this size is epoch making and the first one focused on the youth employment issue. The rally promised further surges of anti-poverty campaign driven by young people. Reporting: Makoto Kawazoe. See Metropolitan Youth Union HP and Animation (Kyoto Minpo).


首都圏青年ユニオンHP 動画(京都民報)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tour Conductors Protest at Tokyo Big Sight ~ Video Uploaded on Union Tube

On Sept. 21, National Union of General Workers Tokyo Tobu's Hankyu Travel Support Branch protested at the World Tourism Congress and Travel Fair held at Tokyo Big Sight (See photos).The video is uploaded on Union Tube. Despite the rain, more than 50 tour guides, members of other Tobu union branches and supporters joined the protest. They raised large banners reading, "We demand better working conditions for tour conductors!" in front of the main gate at the venue, as they shouted, "JATA doesn't understand tour conductors' feelings!" Tour guides on buses passing by cheered on and sent out encouragements. Video (Union Tube)



'We Must Protect Freedom of Expression' ~ Principal Dohi Openly Criticizes Tokyo Board of Education

Tokyo Mitaka High School Principal Nobuo Dohi (See photo) is demanding that Metropolitan Board of Education hold open discussion on its prohibition of voting on resolutions by hand-raising. Since the education board refuses to respond, Dohi expressed his true opinions at a gathering titled, "In demand for freedom of expression at schools," which was held in Tokyo on Sept. 27. As public interests in this issue are widespread, a few hundred attendees poured outside the venue with a capacity of 350 before the event opened. Dohi talked for more than an hour about how much the education board had suppressed expression at educational institutions. "School principals are treated like convenience store managers, and we are made to act like robots that obey orders from the top. This is making things worse for teachers and students: They are the victims. We must protect freedom of expression, which is the most important principle at schools, otherwise, you can no longer call them places of learning. That's why I stood up," he said. Applaud filled the hall. Following Dohi's speech, a panel discussion was held among Atsuchi Okamoto, Hidenori Fujimoto, Naoki Ogi, Tetsu Ishizaka and Hirofumi Nishihara. (By T. Yokoyama) See video (Union Tube) Related video clips (MX-TV)


 都立三鷹高校の土肥信雄校長(写真)は、職員会議の挙手・採決禁止を通知した都教委に反旗を翻して、公開討論を求めている。都教委がこれに応じないため、9月27日東京で開かれた「学校に言論の自由を求めて」の集会で、思いのたけを語った。この問題への関心は高く、350人の会場は開会前にあふれ、数百人が入場できなかった。土肥さんは約1時間にわたって、都教委が教育現場で言論を圧殺してきたことを生々しく語った。「校長はコンビニ店長扱いで、上意下達のロボットにされている。これで被害を受けるのは教員であり生徒だ。学校で一番大事な言論の自由がなくなったら終わり、だから立ち上がった」と訴えると、割れんばかりの拍手が起きた。また、岡本厚・藤田英典(ひでのり)・尾木直樹・石坂啓・西原博史(ひろふみ)の各氏によるパネルトークもあった。 (T・横山)・動画(UnionTube)

U.S. Nuclear-powered Aircraft Carrier George Washington Harbours at Yokosuka Port amid Protest

At 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 25, U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George Washington made a port call at U.S. Navy's Yokosuka port. From 10:30 a.m., a welcoming reception is being held at the deck of the U.S. Seventh Fleet Blue Ridge parked next to George Washington with attendees from the United States and Japan. We do not welcome or absolutely can't allow the nuclear-powered vessel, which is to stay permanently at Yokosuka port. Workers and concerned citizens from a nationwide network to stop nuclear-powered aircraft carrier from porting at Yokosuka, an office at the demonstration front, peace forum, Kanagawa Peace Movement Center, Miura Peninsula district labor union have shouted angry slogans. Reported live from the demonstration front, see photo (Boat protesting against the aircraft carrier)

抗議の声の中 原子力空母ジョージ・ワシントンが横須賀に入港
 以下、現地闘争本部の速報。「原子力空母ジョージ・ワシントンは、9月25日午前9時30分、米海軍横須賀基地に入港しました。10時30分からは、ジョージ・ワシントンに横付けした第7艦隊旗艦・ブルーリッジの甲板で、日米の関係者を招いての歓迎レセプションが開催されています。私たちは米海軍による原子力空母の横須賀母港化を歓迎することはできないし、断じて許すことができません。原子力空母横須賀母港化を許さない全国連絡会・現地闘争本部・平和フォーラム・神奈川平和運動センター・三浦半島地区労などに結集する労働者や民主団体は、午前7時に横須賀市のうみかぜ公園に集まり、入港しようとするジョージ・ワシントンに対して、怒りのシュプレヒコールを叩きつけました」 現闘ニュース・写真(空母に抗議するボート)  

Labor Film Festa 2008 Touches Heart of 200 Viewers

On Sept. 20, Labor Net Japan held Labor Film Festa 2008 at Zensuido Kaikan Hall in Tokyo. Some 150 people came to see the first film of the day and currently popular "Kanikosen (Crab-canning boat)." About 100 people came to see each of the afternoon screenings of an Argentinean film, "Proxima Salida," "Be More Human -- Kokuro's 15-year Struggle," short film selections, "We Are Not Defeated." Audiences were especially impressed with the South Korean documentary of Dong-il texitile factory workers union "We Are Not Defeated," which depicts struggles and lives of women workers at the factory. The film showed the history of South Korea's democracy movement. "I was crying through the entire film," one attendee said after the film, "but the tears were not for sorrow but for the women who gave me courage." The total number of visitors exceeded that of last year at about 200.



Tokyo's Education That Continues Destroying Education ~ Gathering to Stop 'Kimigayo' Dismissal

On Sept. 19, a group to protect Junko Kawarai and Kimiko Nezu from being fired hosted a gathering in Tokyo's Nakano district to win their lawsuit. The meeting ended in a great success with about 80 people showing up, which was more than expected (See photo). A DVD, "Gakko wo yamemasu (I quit school)," which was produced by former elementary school teacher, Masanori Yumoto, was screened at the outset of the event. The movie showed how bad Tokyo's educational institutions have become. After the movie, Mr. K of Machida Teachers Union reported on Tokyo Education Board's dismissal guidelines and current situation at schools. The teacher said that nearly 100 newly-employed teachers left their jobs within a year and at least one newly-hired teacher has committed suicide every year in the past four years as teachers are overworked with no breathing space. Rather than being revived, education is being destroyed fast in Tokyo. (By Hidekiyo Watanabe)


Friday, October 17, 2008

60 TMPCWA Members Protest in Front of Toyota HQ

A “Rally for Sending the Negotiating Team to Toyota” started at 9 AM of September 15, 2008 in front of its headquarters. President Ed Cubelo and Vice President Wenecito Urgel of the Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers Association (TMPCWA), the leaders of the groups to support the struggle in Aichi and Kanagawa Prefectures, and Mr. Wakatsuki Tadao of the All Toyota Labor Union protested Toyota and delivered messages of solidarity with workers. Seven delegates including Secretary General Hayakawa of the All Japan Shipbuilding and Engineering Union (SEU) negotiated with the persons in charge on the Toyota side. How were our demands treated during the negotiation? Mr. Cubelo criticized Toyota’s collusive relationship with the Arroyo administration of the Philippines and appealed that his “life was threatened” by the Philippine Army. Other participants in the rally insisted that Toyota was responsible for anything that would possibly happen to members of the union and demanded the Toyota staffs inform the appeal to their superior while setting rules for confirming that their demands have been passed accordingly. However, the Toyota staffs did not show any sincerity, saying, “We will inform your demands to our boss. Local matters are supposed to be solved locally”.



Dispute at Citizen Seimitsu Korea Solved ? Delegates Leave a Message

On September 12, 2008, an agreement was reached and concluded between the Korea Metal Workers’ Union affiliated to the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), which is the superior body of the Citizen Seimitsu Korea Union, and JT Precision established by Koryo TTR that acquired all the shares of Citizen Seimitsu Korea. According to the agreement, JT Precision will resume operations, drop any charges against the union, reinstate the fourteen dismissed workers, hire union members and take over lengths of service specified in the collective agreement, as well as preparing the settlement package, securing the volume of orders to be received from Citizen Watch Co., Ltd., the previous parent company, for two years for employment stabilization, and maintaining the 2008 collective agreement on the wage. Upon the agreement, all of the South Korean delegates to Japan that continued their struggle in front of the Citizen Headquarters returned to their country on September 13. They released their “Message upon Return to South Korea” (see photo) in Union Tube.


 9月12日、韓国シチズン精密労組の上部団体である民主労総金属労組と韓国シチズン精密の全株を買い取った高麗TTRが設立したJT精密とが合意に達し、協定が結ばれた。合意書では、9月18日から操業を再開、会社側は労組に対する一切の告訴告発と14名の解雇撤回、組合員の雇用および労組の団体協約勤続年数の継承を認めたほか、解決和解金などの支払い、雇用安定のために従来の親会社であった日本のシチズン時計に対して2年間の受注物量を確保する、2008年賃金団体協約を維持するなどだ。これにより、6月に来日しシチズン本社前で闘争を続けていた日本遠征団も13日に全員が帰国した。またユニオンチューブに「帰国の辞」(写真)を発表した。 (UnionTube

Appeal to Public Opinion - Nakano Hayato’s “Hikyaku” Caravan Crosses the Finish Line

In the afternoon of September 12, 2008, “Nakano Hayato’s Tokaido Hikyaku Caravan”, which campaigned for the resolution of the firing of 1,047 former national railways workers, arrived at Nihombashi in central Tokyo, the final destination. Mr. Nakano (photo) had continued running for 500 kilometers from Kyoto since September 3 in a traditional “hikyaku” postal deliverer costume. He was very fine and enthusiastically welcomed by about 70 supporters. The following persons also ran together with Mr. Nakano: Mr. Mizumoto, member of the Kokuro (National Railworkers’ Union) Kitami Struggle Group; supporters from Miyoshi City Workers’ Union in Shikoku Island; and Mr. Takaku, retired Kokuro member. Mr. Nakano said with a suntanned smiley face, “It is impossible to carry out the caravan alone. It was possible thanks to the support of many people. I am happy if I can appeal to public sentiment even a little”. On that day, a reporter of Hokkaido Shimbun, local newspaper in Hokkaido, interviewed with him. During the campaign, many news media reported the caravan and the issue of the mass firing of the former national railway workers. (See Union Tube and relevant websites)


Learn How to Communicate! - MediR Classes Start in October in Full Scale

MediR, citizens’ media center, provisionally started in Takadanobaba, central Tokyo in June 2008 as a “new place to learn and transmit”. There have been five classes, such as a “You can also produce a short video” one, for three months since last June. MediR will start in full scale after October with the considerably larger number of classes. Those of the second half of financial year 2008 include a “class to think about society through films” hosted by Kinoshita Masaaki, film critic, and a “caricature workshop“. On September 27, the opening event was held with the slogan “Learn How to Communicate”. Images of the candle-lit demonstration joined by a million people were shown and a memorial symposium joined by Kim Myeong-jun, president of the Media Center in South Korea, was held during the event. All the classes are now available. MediR WEB site

伝える力 つかもう!~メディアールが10月より本格開校


Recognize Former Nuclear Power Plant Worker Kiyuna Tadashi as Industrial Accident Victim Now! - Signatures Filed to MHLW

On September 11, 2008, the second action for the recognition of Mr. Kiyuna Tadashi, who worked at nuclear power plants and died of malignant lymphoma, as work-related accident victim was carried out from 1 PM at the Office Building of the House of Councilors (Upper House). About 50 persons joined the action. Kiyuna Sueko, Tadashi’s wife, came here from Okinawa to present 61,346 (154,715 in accumulated total) signatures collected from all over Japan to the person in charge of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Sueko appealed, “I think that the ministry officials understand exposure to radiation is bad for our health. I want them to imagine how much we are suffering. We grudge the national government. We want my husband to be recognized as industrial accident victim urgently”. (Reported by Sasaki Yumi)


 9月11日、「原発で働き、悪性リンパ腫で死亡した喜友名(きゆな)正さんの労災認定を求めて 第二回中央行動」が参議院議員会館で午後1時から行われた。市民を中心に約50名が参加した。故喜友名正さんの妻末子さんが沖縄から上京し、全国から届けられた6万1346筆(累計15万4715筆)の署名を厚生労働省担当官に手渡した。末子さんは、「人間が放射線を浴びること自体、身体に悪いことは厚労省もわかっていると思う。家族がどんな苦しい思いをしているか、考えてほしい。私たち家族は、国が憎い。一日でも早く労災認定をしてほしい」と訴えた。(佐々木有美)