Sunday, February 19, 2012

People's Power!: 750 citizens save No Nukes Tents from eviction

Outraged citizens gathered around the tents of no nukes activists in front of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in the evening of January 27. As the 5 p.m. deadline the economy minister Yukio Edano set in his order for clearing the tents approached, the crowd grew rapidly and the area was soon packed with protesters and those from media and police. The number of protesters increased continuously and eventually reached 750. Another ten thousand viewed the scene through webcast.
Thanks partly to the media exposure, the eviction crisis was turned into an opportunity for no nukes activists to make the tents better known to the general public.
During the two-hour rally on the spot, people from Fukushima including women and a farm owner strongly denounced Tepco: "People in Fukushima are still exposed to high levels of radioactivity. Living there is just like a hell. But the executives of Tepco are leading the life in the same way as before the disaster. They have absolutely no sense of responsibility for us. We will never ever forgive them!" The outcry left the audience with deep sympathy, refreshed anger and tears. None of concerned officials of METI appeared on the scene till the end of the whole event. Thus the power of will of 750 citizens determined to stop all nuclear plants backed off the government's attempt to remove the tents. (By M)
Photo News; Video (Recording of Webcast Report); Video (Appeal by Mr. Masami Yoshizawa, a farm owner from Fukushima); Photos of the rally; Message of Corinne Lepage, former Environment Minister of France; Protesters chanting "No nuclear plants!" slogans


午後5時に迫った経産省枝野大臣のテント撤去命令期限に対して、1月27日夕方、怒りの市民たちが続々と脱原発テント前に結集した。メディア・警察官なども含め、周辺はあっというまに身動きできない状態。その後も人数は増え続け最終的に750人になった。ニコニコ動画の生中継視聴者も1万人、マスコミの取材も多く、「撤去命令」は逆にテントの存在を大きく知らせることになった。2時間の集会では、女たち・牧場主など福島からの生の訴えが続いた。「福島は放射能地獄のまま。のうのうと暮らし責任をとらない東電幹部を絶対に許さない!」。悲鳴に近い発言に共感と怒りの涙が拡がった。結局、この日経産省担当者は一切テントに姿を現さなかった。こうして750人の脱原発の気迫が、テント撤去命令をはね返した。(M) 写真速報・ツイキャス(ライブ録画)動画(牧場主・吉沢さんの訴え) ・ルパージュ元仏環境相の緊急メッセージ *写真=「原発はいらない」シュプレヒコールを上げる

Nakama Union's Demonstration against Hashimoto's 'Reform': "It will only impoverish Osaka as a whole!"

Members of two chapters of Nakama Union in Osaka held a demonstration in front of the city hall on January 25 to protest against a series of aggressive changes that the mayor Toru Hashimoto has hastily been introducing under the name of a political reform. (Photo) Municipal employees and public school teachers belonging to the union chapters appealed in the flyer they distributed during the demonstration that Hashimoto's 'reform' lead to a full-scale impoverishment of the population of the city. The flyer reads, "Mayor Hashimoto attempts to slash the social welfare budgets.
Though it is true that increasing subsidies including welfare benefits are heavily pressing the municipal finance, it is a result of the national policy for which the municipal government cannot be blamed. The main cause of the wide-spread poverty is the deregulation regarding non-regular employment that the national government promoted in response to the request by business and industry. In order to alleviate the problem, the mayor should demand the national government to take measures including additional allocation of financial resources. However, he is opting for a massive reduction in welfare budgets instead, starting with the pay-cuts for municipal workers that are of an unbearable level. We strongly oppose to the policy of Mayor Hashimoto."



JAL Unfair Dismissal Case: Plaintiffs mark the anniversary with demonstration in front of the airline's premises

Pilots and flight attendants who filed suit against Japan Airlines in January 2011 for unlawful termination of their employment conducted a demonstration on January 19 to mark the first anniversary of the institution of the lawsuit. The demonstration was held in front of a major showroom of the airline in Yurakucho, central Tokyo, where, coincidently, some 40 executives and high-ranking managers of the company including the president, Masaru Onishi, and his successor-to-be, Yoshiharu Ueki, were distributing pamphlets to passers-by for a sales promotion campaign. Nearly all plaintiffs of the case participated in the demonstration. Leading plaintiffs including Mr. Hiroya Yamaguchi, the leader of the pilots union group, Ms. Taeko Uchida, the leader of the cabin crew union group, Mr. Hitoshi Kiyota, the secretary of pilot union group, Ms. Yoshiko Saito, Mr. Hideki Yamazaki and Ms. Kyoko Shimomura made appeals on top of the vehicle parked in front of the JAL Plaza to request for public support to their struggle for justice through signature collecting campaign and other measures. "The members of the new executive board of the airline must be held responsible for the unlawful dismissal. The Chairman Inamori said in the court that it was obvious that the company was able to retain the plaintiffs employed (even under the on-going restructuring). The testimony will remain binding under the new management where he serves as a chairman emeritus without a representative right. The reinstatement of all of us is inevitable for the restart of the company as an airline that places the top priority on safety, " said Ms. Uchida in her appeal. (Excerpt from vol. 108 of Newsletter on the Unlawful Dismissal of JAL Employees)


Prevent Restart of Oi Nuke Plant!: Citizens disapprove of NISA's experts meeting on the stress tests results

On January 18, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency presented to the panel of nuclear experts the draft report on the results of stress test on reactors No. 3 and 4 of Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Oi power plant that concludes the idled reactors are safe enough to restart. The panel meeting was closed to the public: Citizens were unable to observe it directly nor on a monitor in a separate room. NISA violated rule of democracy by denying citizens' right for transparency on such a critical issue like this. Two of the experts, Dr. Hiromitsu Ino and Dr. Masashi Goto refused to leave the original room, maintaining that the discussions should be open to public. The meeting was held without their participation. The discussion of the panel meeting held under such abnormal circumstances could not have been exhaustive. In view of citizens, the meeting was deviated from a due process.
The writer of this article went into the meeting room a little after 4 p.m. with a person from Koriyama, Fukushima. Instead of going to the monitor room on the tenth floor, we headed straight to the eleventh floor where the meeting was held. There were about twenty citizens in the meeting room including Mr. Koji Sugihara of the Emergency Action on the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis.
We entered the meeting room smoothly. So did the others. The TV reports of 'forceful invasion in the meeting room by activists' were what they fabricated.
(By Takeshi Sakagami)
Video (Actor/Activist Taro Yamamoto); Photo Report by Seiichiro Nishinaka; Video (OurPlanet-TV)Photo: a female protester from Fukushima saying "Tepco executives and MEIT officials never understand how much we suffer!"


保安院は1月18日、関西電力大飯原発3・4号機のストレステスト結果を「妥当」とした結論をまとめ、意見聴取会に提出しました。しかしその意見聴取会は、市民を締め出し、直接の傍聴もモニタを通じた傍聴もない、密室審議でした。保安院は市民を完全に閉め出した状況でストレステストを妥当とする評価を出すという暴挙に出たのです。井野さんと後藤さんの2名の委員は、傍聴のない審議には応じられないとし、その会議には参加していません。意見聴取は十分行われたとはいえず、今日の会議は無効にすべきです。会議場には、杉原さんら市民20名余りが入りました。私は4時すぎに、少し遅れて郡山の方と10階のモニター別室ではなく、11階のリアル会議が行われている部屋に向かいました。テレビは「市民団体乱入」などと伝えていましたが、すんなりと部屋の中に入れました。乱入でも何でもありません。(阪上武) ・動画(山本太郎さんの発言)写真報告(西中)  ・動画(OurPlanet-TV)  *写真=「私たちの苦しみがわかるのか」抗議する福島の女性

Mild Check for Education Board and Intimidation to Teachers: Supreme Court conclude politically on Kimigayo-related suspensions

The supreme court gave rulings on January 16 on three lawsuits filed by a total of 166 public school teachers who refused to stand and sing Kimigayo anthem at schools events. The court annulled suspensions and pay-cuts regarding two plaintiffs acknowledging that such punishments by Tokyo Metropolitan Education Board were excessive. However, the reprimands given to other 163 plaintiffs were endorsed.
While some appreciate the court's decision on the account that it will control the education board's moves to some extent, many find it unsatisfactory because the suspension was not annulled in the case of Ms. Kimiko Nezu, the icon of Kimigayo lawsuits. Both the plaintiff herself and the supporters were puzzled at first, but they came to understand what happened as they closely examined the verdict: The record of suspensions prior to the present case, including the one for ripping of Hinomaru flag, was mentioned. Mr. Makoto Iwai, the layer representing Ms. Nezu, severely criticized the court in the debriefing session. "The verdict shows the strong feeling of disgust the judges have against Ms. Nezu. They are determined not to tolerate those who disturb the order. It will impose enormous pressure on public schools." While the court mildly warned the education board, it relentlessly ruled out the plea of Ms. Nezu most probably to intimidate those may follow her suit.
The two-sided verdict reflects a political intension of the supreme court to interrupt the solidarity among teachers fighting against Kimigayo. (By M)
Photo News; Report by Yumi Sasaki; YouTube Video; Video (Remark of Lawyer Makoto Iwai); Photo: Lawyer Iwai showing the banner accusing the two-sided verdict

1月16日、最高裁で「君が代不起立」教員に対する3つの裁判(計166名)の判決があった。判決では、都教委が停職処分や減給処分までしたのはやりすぎとして、2名については停職・減給を取り消したが、163名の戒告処分は是認した。「一定の歯止めがかかった」と評価する声もあったが、問題が残った。「不起立」のシンボル的存在である根津公子さんの停職処分取り消しがなかったからだ。「一体なぜ?」本人も支援者も「狐につままれた」状態。判決文を読んで分かったことは、根津さんの過去の処分歴(日の丸引き降ろし等)が問題にされていたことだ。岩井信弁護士は報告集会で、「根津さんへの嫌悪感に満ちた判決文。秩序を乱す人間については許さないという内容で、教育現場に息苦しい重圧をもたらすもの」と痛烈に批判した。「一定の歯止め」をかけた一方で容赦ない「見せしめ」、最高裁が二つの顔を体現した政治的分断判決だった。(M) 写真速報動画(YouTube)  ・動画(岩井信弁護士のコメント)*写真=「分断判決弾劾」の垂れ幕をだす岩井弁護士

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Abuse of dark corporations continue—companies’ excuses for dismissals in November 2011

1. I’m a worker with one-year contract. I’m dispatched to do accounting at a company that has a business contract with its headquarters. I was promised for a lifetime employment (until retirement at 60) but was informed my contract will end in March because the headquarters merged with another company.
2. I’m a casual worker. My contract is renewed every six months and is good for four years. The contract is renewed in December, but my company told me that it will terminate my contract in November due to shrinking business. Is this fair?
3. I don’t have paid holidays, overtime pay or extra pay for working on holidays. My colleague and I demanded the company president to pay us overtime, but the president said the company offers no overtime pay because it’s not a big corporation. He said he was never paid overtime when he was young. When I told him I’ll quit in a month, he told me to quit immediately. Isn’t this unfair dismissal? (NPO labor consultation center)


1、一年毎の有期契約社員。本社と業務委託している会社に派遣され、経理業務をしている。以前から「60歳の定年までの契約は保障する」と約束されていたのに、業務委託している会社が別会社に統合されたとたんに「来年3月で契約解除」と通告された。2、派遣労働者。派遣会社とは6ヵ月毎に契約更新で4年勤続。12月に契約切り替えを迎えるが、派遣会社から11月になって「業務縮小のため契約終了」と言われた。会社のこの理由は正当なのか。3、ブラック企業。有給休暇、残業代、休日出勤割増手当無し。社長に同僚と二人で残業代を請求したら「そんなの無いよ。大企業しかある訳ないじゃん。俺が若い時は休みも無かった」と平然と言うので一ヶ月後の退職を伝えたら、「すぐに辞めろ」と言う。不当解雇ではないか。(NPO法人 労働相談センター)

World Conference for Nuclear Free World—“Post-3.11 Fukushima” Sets Off

Some 5,000 people from 33 nations including 100 experts from overseas gathered in Yokohama for the World Conference. Tomoyo Nonaka opened the conference by saying, “Fukushima disaster is not over yet. We will spend two days at this conference thinking about the ways to change ourselves amidst the ongoing, chilling disaster.”
“We will extend our support to the victims of Fukushima disaster with international solidarity,” said Tatsuya Yoshioka, who led the conference committee. “And we will successfully shift from nuclear energy to renewable energy.” Former Fukushima governor, Eisaku Sato, pointed out that nothing was realized out of five principles agreed in the international conference 20 years ago after the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl. Rebecca Helms (photo), EU parliamentarian, talked about how Germany suspended four plants immediately after the Fukushima disaster but suffered no shortage of electricity for eight months since. She added that the Japanese government should learn from other countries and overseas experts on behalf of the victims in Fukushima. (By T.M.) See photos.


33カ国100人の海外代表を含め5,000人が、横浜の脱原発世界会議に集まった。冒頭司会の野中ともよさんが「フクシマ事故は終了していない。背筋が凍るような進行形を抱えながら私たちが自分を変えるための何かを見つけるために2日間考えよう」と呼びかけた。吉岡達也実行委員長も「国際連帯の力で福島の犠牲者を支え、脱原発・自然エネルギーへ転換させよう」と呼びかけた。元福島県知事の佐藤栄佐久氏は「チェルノイブイリ原発の事故20年後の国際会議で決めた5原則が何も生かされなかったことが、フクシマ事故で明らかになった」と痛苦な反省を語った。欧州議会議員のレベッカ・ハルムスさん(写真)は、ドイツはフクシマ事故後すぐ可動原発の半分8基の原発を停止したが、8カ月経過して電力不足も価格高騰もなかった。日本政府は世界中の専門家の協力を求め福島の犠牲者のために、世界のために共に学ぶプロセスを開始すべきだと訴えた。(報道部 TM)・写真

Masao Yamazaki: Protest to ‘Not Guilty’ Verdict of Former JR West President

Kobe District Court handed down a not-guilty verdict on Jan. 11 to former JR West president, Masao Yamazaki, who was accused of involuntary manslaughter of 107 passengers by derailing JR Fukuchiyama Line on April 25, 2005. The group to research safety issues (of railways) protests to the verdict, which has concealed every corporate crime by buttering up the government-run businesses. The verdict is drawn based on so many misunderstandings of facts, but the most serious misunderstanding is that the court pardoned JR West because the company was not required to equip the trains with ATS (Automatic Train Stop) at the time of the accident. As the group illustrates from its own investigation, the then-Transportation Ministry required all private railway companies to equip their trains with ATS in 1967. Since then, major private railway companies have completed ATS set-up. (Kurogane Ko, Group to research safety issues)



200 Day Laborers, Workers Demand Jobs at Rally Amid Extreme Protection

Day laborers, who most often end up working to settle Fukushima disaster and in the highly contaminated environment, gathered at a park in Tokyo’s Taito Ward on Jan. 9. In demand for jobs, some 200 workers came together from Shibuya, Tama and other districts of Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya and Osaka. “No one wants to work at nuclear plants,” said one of the members from All Japan Coalition of Day Laborers (Hiyatoi Rodosha Zenkoku Kyogikai) “Everyone who is working at nuclear plants have no choice but to risk their lives.” The annual rally held since 1980s is a tribute to the two video activists who were killed by an organized crime syndicate. The movie, “Yama, Yararetara Yarikaese,” depicts a serious conflict between day laborers and job distributors. (By Chie Matsumoto) Photo: Riot police are mysteriously wearing face masks.


福島原子力発電所での事故処理のために、多くの仲間が線量管理下で働く日雇い労働者たちが1月9日、東京の山谷地区として知られる台東区清川にある公園に集まった。この日雇全協反失業総決起集会には、渋谷や多摩地区、寿、名古屋、釜ヶ崎と全国からおよそ200名が結集し「仕事をよこせ!」と訴えた。山谷の日雇全協メンバーからは「原発で働きたくて働いている仲間はいない。みんな必要にかられて命削って働いているんだ」との発言があった。この集会は毎年この時期に行われ、26、7年前に暴力団に虐殺された映像活動家たちの弔いとなっている。映画『山谷(やま) やられたらやりかえせ』は、日雇い労働者と手配師との闘いを描いた作品として広く知られている。(松元ちえ) *写真=なぜか全員マスク姿の機動隊

Shut Down All Nuclear Power Plants in the World—Year-end Occupy at METI Tent

More than 80 people gathered at the tent in front of Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry for the countdown to 2012. Japan’s traditional red-and-white singing contest was held as a part of streaming program and featured Okinawan music and dance as well as Fukushima mothers speaking to abolish all nuclear plants. More than 20 groups, including regulars at Labor Festa like a group singing Korean labor songs and an Italian man who happened to jump in, sang their heart out on a theme of anti-nuclear and Occupy. Social Democratic Party President Mizuho Fukushima stopped by before the countdown, which was called out with the people who are occupying in South Korea. Japan celebrated the new year with Champaign, while Korea lit candles on a cake. They both wished for the coming year without nuclear power plants. (By Johnny H) Photo: Countdown