Monday, November 29, 2010

"Forced to work at the age of 13 with no pay - Still untolerable". - Harumonis' Sit-in in front of Fujikoshi Headquarters.

In the afternoon of October 18, aged Korean women (harumoni) and their supporters conducted a sit-in in front of the Fujikoshi Headquarters in Shiodome area. An 81-year-old Korean woman (photo, left) recalled, "When they forced me to work between 1943 and 1944, I was only 13 years old. Nothing paid. Only harsh memories are left. No word of apologies from them, and no compensation paid. I filed a lawsuit; however, I lost at the High Court in March. I came here to speak with those who are in charge of the case because I don't expect the Supreme Court to reverse the high court's decision. Nevertheless, nobody even takes his or her time to see me. They have no sense of repentance at all. I, however, have made up my mind to continue demanding Fujikoshi apologies even if it takes my grandchildren's generation."

「13歳で強制労働 いまも許せず」~ハルモニたち不二越前で座りこみ
 10月18日午後から、不二越東京本社前(汐留住友ビル)で、韓国のハルモニたちと支援者による座りこみが行われた。81歳になるハルモニ(写真左)はインタビューに応えてこう語った。「私は1943~44年に不二越の工場で強制労働させられた。13歳だった。給料も払われず、本当に辛い思い出しか残っていない。それに対して一言の謝罪も補償もなく許せない気持ちだった。裁判を起こしたが今年3月に高裁で負けた。最高裁にも期待できないので、こうして直接会社に申し入れに来たが、会ってもくれない。不二越はいっさい反省がない。私は、孫の世代までかかっても謝罪を求めていくつもりだ」。 写真1・写真2・ロビーで不二越に抗議(19日)・動画(UnionTube) ・不二越訴訟HP・写真報告:富山本社抗議行動 ・10.22の報告

Rebuilding the society, people!

On Saturday, October 16th, 1,200 people participated in the anti-poverty rally at Meiji Park in Tokyo under the clear blue sky. The campaign mainly featured live music and discussions, along with various kinds of booths and group talks on diverse interests. Participants enjoyed the festive mood. Among all the groups, the one that exposed the brutality of Sumida Ward caught visitors' attention. The ward office has prohibited homeless people from collecting recycle cans to make a few bucks for their food. In addition, our first attempt to broadcast the rally with USTREAM (in cooperation with OurPlanet TV and PARC TV) showed segments such as "Tell Me, Mister" and "Anti-Poverty Honest Talk." The program gave an opportunity to the public to think over a number of social issues. The participants went on to a demonstration after the rally, along with well-known activists, including Karin Amamiya and Hajime Matsumoto, in Tokyo's Harajuku shopping district. They chanted phrases, such as "The poor are angry!" and "Give us money!"

 10月16日、晴れ上がった東京・明治公園で反貧困大集会が開催され1200人が集まった。音楽・トークを中心に出展ブース、分科会など全員参加型のお祭りスタイルで盛り上がった。なかでも墨田区による迫害を訴えた「空き缶パフォーマンス」のブースが注目を浴びていた。また今回初めての試みである反貧困TV(レイバーネットTV・OurPlanet-TV・PARC TVで構成)では、「教えておじさん」「反貧困本音トーク」があり、楽しくかつ問題を深める場となった。パレードでは、雨宮処凛さん、松本哉さんのシュプレヒコールが炸裂、「貧乏人は怒っているぞ!」「金よこせ!」の声を上げながら、原宿周辺を練り歩いた。(M) 写真速報・反貧困TV(アーカイブ視聴)・永瀬ユキのビデオ*写真=全員によるパフォーマンス

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

March in downtown Shinjuku - Don’t trample Okinawa! Obama wins “Nobel War Prize”

Approximately 150 demonstrators joined the fifth “March in Downtown Shinjuku” in central Tokyo, demanding the solution of the issue of the Futemma Base of the United States Marines in Okinawa from 3 PM on October 10, 2010. The demonstrators were surrounded by policemen in uniform and plainclothes ones who far outnumbered them at first, but they drove away the “abnormal” atmosphere with their big voice and sound. Many played the trumpets, drums and vuvuzelas and were costume-clad in a happy atmosphere, and the march went through the downtown Shinjuku with the chant of anger, “Don’t trample Okinawa!” In particular, US President Obama’s “Nobel War Prize” (photo) got a lot of reaction from passers-by who were taking photos and waving their hands with smiles. At a rally, the organizers also focused on the issue of Japan’s Self Defense Forces, saying, “This is not only the issue of the US Army. The Japanese Government is fanning the flames of the Senkaku crisis to strengthen the forces and trample Okinawa”. (M)  Mkinpo Photo Gallery, image by Nagase Yuki, some photos by Ohki Seiko

10月10日午後3時より、5回目の沖縄・普天間問題を訴える「新宿ど真ん中デモ」が約150人の参加で行われた。最初は、参加者の数倍の制服・私服警察官に囲まれた「異常」な雰囲気だったが、デモ隊は大きな声と音でそれをはね返した。トランペット、ドラム、ブブゼラなどの音楽・仮装・鳴り物入りの楽しい行進と、「沖縄を踏みにじるな」の怒りのコールを交えながら新宿繁華街を練り歩いた。とりわけオバマ大統領の「ノーベル戦争賞」(写真)は大受けで、通行人が写真を撮ったり、笑顔で手を振ったりの光景が見られた。マイクアピールでは、「これは米軍だけの問題でない。日本政府は、尖閣の危機を煽って自衛隊を増強し、沖縄を踏みにじろうとしている」と自衛隊問題を強く訴えた。(M)・ムキンポ写真館 ・動画(永瀬ユキ)大木晴子さんの写真

Victorious reconciliation! “Only-in-name managers” lawsuit against staffing company “Goodwill”

On October 5, 2010, the Tokyo Young Contingent Workers' Union held a press conference on a victorious reconciliation in a lawsuit against a major staffing company Goodwill at the press club of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. The seventeen plaintiffs demanded the company pay unpaid wages including overtime (Goodwill disbanded during the lawsuit), and a reconciliation was reached in the lawsuit on the payment of settlement money to all of the plaintiffs on September 29 at Civil Affairs Section 11, the Tokyo District Court. The amount of the settlement was acceptable for all of them. Goodwill insisted that the plaintiffs who were branch managers “fall under the category of supervisors in terms of the Labor Standards Act and have no back wages”. However, the settlement amount reflected hours worked that were calculated based on evidence brought by the plaintiffs to a certain extent. (Takeda Atsushi)


Don’t steal our work! Demonstration against bylaws prohibiting taking cans and old newspapers away

A demonstration against bylaws that prohibits taking cans and old newspapers away ended in success with many participants on October 3, 2010. More than 130 demonstrators, who were the homeless and their supporters, joined the march. We would like to thank all the participants. It was a very important mass demonstration to show that great many people oppose the revision of the bylaws in Sumida Ward, Tokyo, robbing the homeless of their livelihoods. The revised bylaws have been enforced since October 1, but we would like to continue our various efforts to keep them from being arbitrarily operated, such as field activities and demonstrations against, for example, photography without prior consent. (San'ya Welfare Center for Day-Laborers' Association) San’ya Blog

10月3日の空き缶・新聞持ち去り条例反対デモは、多くの方の参加により、成功裏に終了しました。野宿当事者、応援の人含め130人以上の結集でした。来てくださった方、どうもありがとうございました。今回の墨田区の条例改悪に反対する人がこれだけいるんだ、ということを大衆的な行動ではじめて示したという意味で、非常に重要なデモだったと思います。10月1日から改悪された条例が施行されていますが、現場での取り組みやデモなど、様々な方向からの働きかけで、条例を好き勝手に運用させない(無断での写真撮影など)ための取り組みを、これからも行っていきたいと思います。(山谷労働者福祉会館) 山谷ブログ

Struggle against closure of Seven’s Cleaner factory won! – With better conditions

The Seven’s Cleaner division of the Davenroy local, affiliated with the National Union of General Workers Tokyo Tobu, which had struggled against the closure of the Misato Factory of a cleaning company Seven’s Cleaner Co., Ltd. in Misato City, Saitama Prefecture, concluded an agreement with the company management. It is impossible for us to disclose the details of the agreement here due to its confidentiality clause. However, the obtained conditions are much better than those that were originally proposed by the management, enough to protect the employment and life of members who belong to the division to a certain extent. This is thanks to support from other trade unions and organizations, and individuals. Their support is very highly appreciated. (Suda Mitsuteru) * Photo: Fellows in Seven’s Cleaner (shot in June 2010)


Harsh postwar history behind “Korean boom” – Film “A Brand New Life” released

Many of South Korean dramas depict the “secret of birth”. Behind this is its tumultuous postwar history that is characterized by the Korean War, the subsequent division between the North and the South, and the sharp economic growth after the pro-democracy movement. There, some enjoyed fruits of the growth and the others were unable to do it. In particular, war orphans, half-breeds whose fathers are US soldiers having been stationed in South Korea, and children of poor families were in misery. The military regime at that time encouraged their “international adoption” in order to alleviate the problem. The number of the adoptees was said to reach 200,000. For example, in a TV series “Hotelier”, a cool and hard-hearted entrepreneur from the US, played by Bae Yongjun, a South Korean actor, was abandoned by his father and adopted overseas while his younger sister was adopted by another family overseas. Harsh history lies even behind a luxurious hotel. I recommend you to watch the French-Korean film “A Brand New Life”, which is directed by Ounie Lecomte and will be released soon. (Kinoshita Masaaki) * Film’s official site