Tuesday, March 27, 2012

People, with Whom the Sovereignty Rests, Want No Nukes !: 10 thousands surround Diet in a human chain

The no-nukes human chain action conducted on March 11 around the Diet was a tremendous success. Countless people lined up surrounding the Diet building. After the sun set, they lit candles in their hands. A seemingly endless line of candles were seen in the dark. "I am sure there are more than 10 thousand people here!" said the organizer of the action excitedly.
No one must have observed such a sea of protesters in the vicinity of the Diet, probably, since the historic struggle against the U.S.-Japan Security Pact in 1960. The people gathered were diverse in age, gender or nationality, but shared the same anger that was expressed variously in the signs they had. "No more nuclear plants!" "Re-start (of nuclear reactors)? No way!" "The Diet must listen to us with whom the sovereignty resides." 
The protest was a relatively quiet one with no particular appeals except candles and sign boards. It was the size of the crowd that was truly overwhelming. It reflected the positive development that the no-nuclear-plants movement has achieved during the last 12 months. (By M)      
  Ustream Video "Human Chain at the Diet"  Photos of a march in Tokyo and the human chain (by shinya)  Photos (by KUISAKO Ryuta) 


311日、脱原発・国会ヒューマンチェーンは圧巻だった。国会議事堂に沿ってどこまで歩いても人の列が続いていて、日が暮れるとそれは長い長いキャンドルの列になった。主催者も「1万人は間違いなく超えている」と興奮ぎみ。 近年こんな光景はなかった。60年安保以来と思えるほど、見事に国会は包囲された。子ども・若者・中年・老人・男・女・外国人、本当に多様多彩な人が怒りを一つに行動を起こした。「もう原発はいらない」「再稼働はとんでもない」「国会は私たち主権者の声を聞け」。一人ひとりがプラカードやポスターなど自前の表現方法でアピールしている。キャンドルを掲げるだけの静かな行動だったが、その人数の多さは国会を圧倒する力だった。3.11から1年、脱原発の運動は確実に深まり広がっていることを実感させた。(M

Good News for Temporary Tour Conductors: High Court overturns District Court's decision in a case on distorted work hours measurement

Tokyo High Court overturned a lower court's decision on March 7 in a lawsuit that temporary tour conductors affiliated with the Hankyu Travel Support (HTS) Local of the National Union of General Workers’ Tokyo Tobu filed against the travel company over the method to measure work hours and calculate overtime payments. The plaintiffs claimed that the company failed to calculate the overtime hours because of the nature of their work. HTS claimed that overtime hours were counted in their required work hours and overtime pay in their salary. Tokyo District Court approved of the company's claim in September 2011, though ordered it pay unpaid overtime hours and fines.
The high court judge, OTAKE Takashi, approved more overtime hours than the District Court did and ordered HTS pay a total of about 27 million yen including fines. In addition, the judge dismissed the company's claims on the calculation of work hours and overtime for tour conductors that the lower court endorsed.
"We have been struggling for nearly 4 years. We strongly urge HTS to respect the high court's order and treat tour conductors appropriately. We also hope that today's ruling will have a positive impact on the working conditions of all colleagues in the industry," said OSHIMA, one of the plaintiffs, in the press conference. (By Sugano, the NUGW Tokyo Tobu)  
 * Photo: Plaintiffs and attorneys (the poster says  "victory!")



"We are determined to punish irresponsible Tepco directors!": Shareholders seek the highest ever ¥5.5 trillion in damages


           Forty-two shareholders of Tokyo Electric Power Co. filed a negligence suit on March 5 against Chairman KATSUMATA Tsunehisa and 26 other current and former board members of the utility over the Fukushima nuclear crisis, seeking 5.5 trillion yen in damages that is the highest amount ever sought in a Japanese civil suit. The press conference started a little after 4 p.m. at the Judiciary Press Club in Tokyo. The room was packed with nearly 60 reporters and more than 10 TV cameras.
Attorney KAWAI Hiroyuki strongly condemned the defendants. "We can never tolerate the fact that they are enjoying or expecting happy wealthy post-retirement lives, while resident of the areas affected by the nuclear disaster are suffering the direst distress. It has been a year since the disaster occurred, but neither the company nor any one of the directors has accepted due liabilities. We want to rectify such a system of collective irresponsibility that prevail in the nuclear power industry by pursuing their individual responsibilities, "  he said.
The liability count named first by the plaintiffs is that the defendants irresponsibly constructed and operated nuclear power plants in Japan, a country well-known for frequent earthquakes, neglecting repeated safety warnings.    By M
  *Photo: Press Conference at the Judiciary Press Club

人々に塗炭の苦しみを与えた東電役員を許さない!~史上最高額 5.5兆円の損賠提訴

35日午後4時すぎ、東京・司法記者クラブの会見場は60名近い報道陣でぎゅうぎゅう詰め、テレビカメラも10数台がずらりと並んだ。 この日、東電株主の原告42人が勝俣会長など歴代・現役東電役員27人を「原発事故を起こした責任者」として、裁判史上もっとも高額な55045億円の損害賠償訴訟を提起した。会見で、弁護団の河合弘之弁護士は、「人々を塗炭の苦しみに追いやりながら、自分たちは安泰な人生・ハッピーな晩年、など絶対に許せない。事故から1年経つが、東電は何一つだれ一人責任をとっていない。個人責任を追及することで原発業界における集団無責任体制を是正したい」と強調した。責任理由の第1に挙げているのは「超地震大国で漫然と原発を建設・運転したこと」だった。 (M

Labornet Japan Annual Meeting 2012 Discuss Counter-Hashimoto Strategies

General Annual Meeting of Labornet Japan for 2012 was held on March 3 in central Tokyo. Some 40 members attended.
In the discussion on the policy and programs for the coming year, some attendees reported severe circumstances of their work places. "In the wake of aggressive administrative reforms pursed under previous administrations, particularly those by prime ministers Nakasone and Koizumi, workers have practically been deprived of many rights. What remains are only those that were already granted in the 19th century." "The trade union is completely subordinate to the management," they said.
Active discussion centered around Osaka Mayor, HASHIMOTO Toru, the icon of neo-liberalism that is gaining stronghold in Japan. Many apprehended that policies of local governments led by neo-liberalist politicians such as Hashimoto and Tokyo Governor ISHIHARA Shintaro would exacerbate difficulties for the labor and regarded the struggle against them as the greatest challenge for this year. They debated enthusiastically on how to prevent farther weakening of the weak under neo-liberalistic policies or how to raise awareness among those who are indifferent about the recent development.  
After the discussion, Dr. AN Juyoung, an associate professor of Kyoto University, gave a lecture on the politics and labor movement in South Korea. He named energetic activities of young people, joint actions by labor groups and citizens' groups and effective use of internet as major driving forces that led to the election of a civic activist PARK Wonsoon who was pledging on improved social welfare as the mayor of Seoul in October 2011. The attendees were greatly inspired by the analysis of the vigorous civil movement of the neighboring country. (By M) 
 Ustream Video of Dr. An's lecture  * Photo: Dr. AN Juyoung, right, with Mr. KAWAZOE Makoto, Labornet Japan Co-Rep.

ハシモトにどう対抗していくか~「レイバーネット日本 2012総会」開催される

33日午後、「レイバーネット日本 2012総会」が東京・水道橋の「スペースたんぽぽ」で開催された。参加者は約40名。 今後の運動をめぐっての議論では、「中曽根・小泉行革で職場は無権利状態になり19世紀に戻った」「組合が何もやらず会社と一体化している」など労働現場の厳しい状況が出された。 今後それに輪をかけていく「ハシモト」は今年の最大のテーマ。石原・橋下など「弱肉強食・新自由主義」の台頭に、どう対抗していったらいいのか、危機感のない人たちにどう伝えたらいいのか、など活発に議論された。

Make North Korean High Schools Tuition-Free before the Graduation!: A human chain formed around the education ministry

Persistent efforts have been made to include North Korean schools in the free program for public high schools. On March 1, protesters surrounded the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in at 4 p.m. and a rally was held in Yoyogi Koen Park in Shibuya Ward later in the evening. The participants were 250 and 1530 respectively.
Under the law that took effect in April 2010, foreign schools, including international schools, are eligible for the tuition waiver program if their curricula are recognized as equivalent to those of Japanese high schools. Most of such schools have already been included in the program. However, the procedures to include Korean schools known as "Chosen Gakko" have been suspended. The official status is that the screening of the curriculum has not been completed.
Two batches of students graduated without being benefited from the program. The current school year is about to end. Still, no moves have been made by the education ministry.
(By YUMOTO Masanori)
*Photo: Protest at the education ministry


高校無償化が始まって3年目を迎える。朝鮮高校以外のアメリカンスクールなどの民族学校にはすでに無償化は実行されている。民族学校の中で「朝鮮学校」のみが排除され、「審査会」にかけられたままになっている。その間2回の卒業式があった。そして今年の卒業式も、もう目前に控えているのに政府は何ら動きを見せていない。 (湯本雅典)

Prayer for Victims and Desire to Rebuild: 16 thousands gather in Fukushima on 3.11

Many rallies were held nationwide in Japan on March 11, the first anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The participants reposed of those who lost their lives in the disaster and refreshed the desire for reconstruction.
In Fukushima Prefecture, some 16,000 people attended a gathering titled "We don't want nuclear plants! 3.11 Rally of the People of Fukushima" that was held at a baseball stadium in Koriyama City. They observed a moment of silence at 2:46 p.m., the time when the earthquake off Tohoku spawned the tsunami that wrecked the Pacific coast on March 11, 2011. At a squire in front of the central railway station of the city, hundreds of candle lanterns prepared by local citizens were displayed, expressing their thoughts and feelings with drawings and words.
The rally started with a concert by a famed singer KATO Tokiko who performed tunes with a prayer for revitalization. SHIMIZU Shuji made an appeal representing the organizers. "It may seem that we, residents of Fukushima, have regained a normal life. But look carefully. Children are not playing outdoors. Farmers have been deprived of the joy of production. Beleaguered by radioactivity, we are forced to live with a fear about the future that is too hard to articulate. We have learnt a hard lesson that nuclear plants have an enormous danger that can possibly destroy the whole nation. With regrets, we cry 'no nukes!'  Let's move forward together!"  (By MORI Miki)


東日本大震災・福島原発事故から1年目の311日、日本各地で鎮魂のおもいと復興への願いを込めた集会が開催されました。福島では「東日本大震災・福島原発事故1周年 原発いらない!311福島県民大集会が郡山市の開成山野球場で開催され16,000余が参加しました。 そして、246分に黙祷をおこないました。また、郡山駅前広場では鎮魂のキャンドル「春蛍」が展示され、大勢の人たちが各々のおもいを託していました。311郡山集会では歌手の加藤登紀子さんがオープニングコンサートをおこない、再生の祈りを込めた歌声を届け、集会呼びかけ人の清水氏が「一見、平穏に見えるかもしれないが良く見ると子どもたちの姿が見えない。農家は生産の喜びを奪われた。放射能に包囲され将来に言い様のない不安がある。原発は国の破滅になりかねない危険があることが分かった。『原発いらない』は痛恨の叫びだ。ともに前進しましょう」との訴えをおこないました。 海樹)

Monday, March 19, 2012

This is TEPCO

A Japanese journalist reveals the truth about troubled Tokyo Electric Power Co. Hiroshi Matsuzawa was an economy reporter for a Japanese newspaper. In the '70s and '80s, he covered utility businesses, including troubled Electric Power Co., as well as nuclear reactor makers, Hitachi, Toshiba and Mitsubishi. He talked to Labornet TV on March 11.



Friday, March 9, 2012

NUGW Wins Berlitz Lawsuit; Workers’ Rights to Strike Respected

National Union of General Workers, Tokyo Nambu, and its branch, BEGUNTO, on Feb. 27 won a lawsuit demanding compensation for 110 million yen from them for obstructing business with strikes in 2008. Berlitz Japan sued the union and its branch of language teachers for launching strikes with illegal objectives.
The court “did not approve of any lack of justification for strike” and dismissed the company’s claim. The plaintiff’s objective in this lawsuit demanding the union of 110 million yen in compensation lies in intimidating its workers and the union, as well as threatening the union right. However, the court brought the meaningful verdict that strike is a valid right of trade unions.
The union asks support from all in conveying to the company of not appealing the verdict. (By NUGW Tokyo Nambu) Photo: Berlitz language teachers strike in 2008 Nambu Website


全国一般労働組合東京南部とその支部であるベグントが、2008年春闘でのストが会社を加害する目的で行われた違法なものだとして、ベルリッツ・ジャパンから11千万円の損害賠償を訴えられた裁判の判決が2012227日にありました。東京地裁民事第36部の判決は、「ストライキの正当性に欠けるところは認められない」として、ストが違法であるという原告の主張を完全に退けました。ベルリッツ・ジャパンによるこの訴訟の目的は、1億1千万円という損害賠償訴訟を起こすことによって、労働組合の権利行使を萎縮させることにありました。しかし、ストライキが正当であると労働組合の権利をはっきり認めた点で、意義のある判決を受けました。ベルリッツの控訴を許さず、争議全面解決に向けて、闘いはあとひとふんばりです。引き続き、みなさまのご支援をよろしくお願い致します。(全国一般労働組合東京南部) なんぶHP *写> 真=ベルリッツ語学教師による2008年スト>

Surprise Karaoke Troupe – 5,000 Demonstrates for No Nuke in Tokyo

As Tokyo’s Suginami Ward is a birth place for petition movement for abolishment of atomic bombs, it was the perfect place for a demonstration against nuclear energy. On Feb. 19, a demonstration led by “Shiroto-no-ran (Amateur Revolt)” featured folk dance, kids, drums and mellow people. Some 5,000 of young and not so young people joined the walk. Out of all the people, however, the most surprising feature of this demonstration was the Karaoke troupe.
The truck loaded with a Karaoke machine would have anyone who wanted to sing. Protesters proudly demonstrated their talent with their original “anti-nuke” songs one after another. Unlike tense demonstrations last year, it had many participants with relaxed, cheerful expressions on their faces.
That didn’t mean that they all felt it. When interviewed, each spoke of a strong determination never to allow resumption of suspended nuclear plants or wanted no more nuclear plants. People’s conviction to wish for no more nuclear power plants seemed to root deep into their minds. (By M) See photo flash news , videos (YouTube 6 min)  , Mkinpo Photo


東京の杉並は市民運動が盛んで、原水爆禁止署名運動の発祥の地でもある。ここで219日、脱原発「有象無象」デモが行われた。「素人の乱」などが呼びかけたこのデモ、隊列もフォークダンス隊・キッズ隊・ほのぼの隊・ドラム隊と何でもありの様相だ。参加者も幼児から若者、お年寄りと本当に幅広く、最終的には約5000人に膨れ上がった。中でも度肝を抜いたのが「カラオケ隊」だった。車の上にカラオケ機材一式を乗せ、参加者が自由にエントリーする方式。次々にマイクを握って自慢のノドを披露する。選曲はほとんどが「原発替え歌」になっていて、大盛り上がりだった。デモ参加者の表情はなごやかで明るく、去年のデモのような張り詰めた感じはない。しかし一人ひとりにインタビューすると「再稼働は絶対に許さない」「もう原発はごめんだ」と一様に強い言葉が返ってきた。脱原発への決意は人々の心にしっかり根づいていた。(M 写真速報動画YouTube6分)・ムキンポ写真館

Show GOVT, JR Workers’ Determination—21-day Marathon, Hunger Strike End

A 21-day run and hunger strike by three unionists ended on Feb. 16. They demanded the government and Japan Railways Co that they keep jobs by their actions, while not accepting the monetary settlement.
The run and hunger strike were supported not by unions or joint struggle but by 160 individuals. They also submitted their request to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and each JR companies.
“People who didn’t know about our struggle against the National Railways even accompanied me in the run,” said NAKANO Hayato, a former NR worker, at a rally on Feb. 17. “I’d like to cherish this support network to let businesses know not to unfairly lay off workers. I will come back on the 16th of every month from Shikoku region to run again around the Diet building. This is the determination of workers.” Other workers of former National Railways spoke of their determination to continue their struggle at the rally. (By M) . Photo: Run around the Diet building (NAKANO Hayato, right) 


 JR不採用問題の終結。金銭解決だけでは納得できない。政府はJR雇用の約束を守れ」と、127日から国会マラソン・ハンストで訴えてきた3人の当事者の行動が、216日終わった。労組や共闘組織のバックもない個人主体の行動だったが、支援者など延べ160人が参加した。国交省・JR各社への要請も取り組んだ。17日の集約集会で当事者の中野勇人さん(元国労北見闘争団)は、「国鉄闘争を全く知らない人も伴走してくれた。こうした出会いをつなげていきたい。労働者のクビを切ったら大変だということを政府に知らしめたい。今後も毎月16日に、四国から夜行バスで上京して国会マラソンをやるつもりだ。これが労働者の土根性だ」と力強く訴えた。集会では、ほかに元闘争団員の佐久間忠夫・猪股正秀・松崎博巳の各氏が「闘争継続」の決意を語った。(M *写真=> 国会マラソン(右が中野勇人さん)

General Union of Young Workers in Tokyo Wins Lawsuit against Sukiya

Tokyo District Court ordered Zensho Co, a gyudon chain, to respond faithfully to collective bargaining sessions with General Union of Young Workers in Tokyo (Shutoken Seinen Union). The company took the central labor commission in 2007 to court in demand for dismissing its ruling. Zensho’s defeat officially recognizes its illegal act to refuse collective bargaining sessions for the third time. Unlawful act by Japan’s number one restaurant operator should not be allowed. Zensho should immediately respond to the collective bargaining with the union. It is not easy for part-timers and casual workers to join a union for their rights, but the unionists will not give up. We are determined to continue the struggle until our rights are respected. We call on other casual workers and supporters never give up even if forced to work in a terrible working conditions and to stand up together. (By General Union of Young Workers)


Osaka City Workers Speak on Mayor Hashimoto’s Employee Survey on Labornet TV

Osaka City Mayor HASHIMOTO Toru conducted a survey on city employees on Feb. 9. The survey asks employees to tell their names, employee numbers and departments they work for, while asking their involvement in unions, participation in union activities and names of colleagues who invited them to unions among other questions. To this extraordinary affair, unions, BAR associations and other people raised voices in protest. Some workers at city offices and city schools have also refused to answer the survey. Labornet TV featured this survey on its program titled, “True objective of Hashimoto’s public worker busting.” YANO Koichi, Osaka City worker, and MATSUMOTO Mieko, part-time teacher in Osaka, appeared on the program and spoke bravely against the mayor’s survey. “We should raise voices to unfair deeds,” said YAMAGUCHI Masanori, journalist. See Labornet TV archive (from 8:08 p.m., highlights, program, survey)


 大阪市の橋下市長は29日、「労使関係に関する職員のアンケート調査」を一方的に実施。その内容は、職員に氏名・職員番号・所属部署を書かせたうえで、「組合加入の有無」や「組合活動への参加」「組合に誘った人の名前」まで回答させるという異常なものだった。これに対して労働界・法曹界をはじめ、反対の声が急速に上がっている。また現場ではアンケート拒否のたたかいも起きている。216日の「レイバーネットTV」では、「橋下公務員バッシングの本当の狙い」と題し、アンケート問題と職場の実態を取り上げた。ゲストは、大阪の現場職員である矢野幸一さん(なかまユニオン)と松本美恵子さん(大阪教育合同労組)で、「おかしいことには声を上げよう」とジャーナリストの山口正紀さんを交え熱いトークが続いた。 アーカイブ視聴(特集は8分から)


Monday, March 5, 2012

Meeting to demand Free Tuition for North Korean high schools held in the Diet Member Building

The new policy of free tuition for high schools started in April 2011 and seems to have had good effects such as increasing the number of students entering high school and reducing the number of dropouts. Schools for North Korean nationals in Japan, known as “Chosen Gakko,” were the only high schools excluded from the free tuition program. The government excluded North Korean high schools due to “the abduction of Japanese citizens by the North Korea” and “military conflict in the Korean Peninsula”, which are all irrelevant to the issue.
On February 14th, a meeting to demand free tuition for North Korean high schools was held in the Upper House Diet Member Building. 170 people, including 9 Diet members, attended the standing-room only meeting. The audience heard a lecture by Attorney YOSHIMINE on the Convention on the Rights of Child and speeches from representatives from North Korean high schools. A message of support from South Korea was introduced at the meeting.


National Summit to Protect Lives from Radiation attended by 400 people from 50 groups

A National Summit to Protect Lives from Radiation was held in Fukushima City from February 11th to 12th. The meeting drew 400 people nationwide from 50 groups supporting survivors of the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis. On the first day reporting meetings, section meetings and a symposium were held to clarify the experiences and challenges in connecting and supporting the evacuees from Fukushima. On the second day, consultation service was provided in two venues where support groups met and spoke with the survivors who have difficulties in relocation and recreation. Booths of the support groups were frequented by 200 people seeking consultation. “It was significant that we had this Summit near the end of the fiscal year, a time when many people seek to relocate and take time off” said the Secretary of the Summit, YOSHINO Hiroyuki. (YUMOTO Masanori)
Video: YouTube



12 thousand gather for - 10 Million People’s Action to Say Goodbye to Nuclear Power Plants

On February 11th, Yoyogi Park in Tokyo was packed with 12 thousand participants as part of the “10 Million People’s Action to Say Goodbye to Nuclear Power Plants”. The march was lead by OCHIAI Keiko, a writer and a promoters of the action, and YAMAMOTO Taro, a popular actor. When the marchers reached Omotesando, YAMAMOTO took up the microphone to lead the chanting. Young passers-by noticed the voice of the popular actor and many of them started to take photos of the star and to raise voices of support. YAMAMOTO raised his voice repeating, “Stop the nuclear plants immediately! Wake up! Stand up! No to the restart of nuclear plants! We have enough electricity! We won’t be cheated again!” Rhythmical chanting reverberated through downtown Tokyo. (Y)
Photo: OOKI Haruko


No to the termination of 13,694 Postal non-regular workers - First trial held for the complaint filed by dismissed workers

At the end of September last year, 13,694 non-regular workers aged over 65 were terminated from the Japan Post. It had been a past practice to renew workers' contracts when the contract term expired, regardless of the worker's age. Refusing to accept the termination, 5 of the dismissed workers took their cases to court. The first hearing was held on February 9th at the Tokyo District Court No. 620. There were only 24 seats for observers, but some 60 people gathered in the court room. The court guards urged the standing observers to leave, but they remained there, saying “We want to show the Judge that many people are here to listen.” Entering the courtroom, the alarmed Judge ordered the standing observers to leave the room. They left the room saying “You should have a bigger courtroom!” In the trial, the dismissed workers, NIWA Yoshiko and FUKAO Tadanori, gave their testimonies confidently, urging equal treatment for non-regular workers who are doing the same work for low wages and insecure status. (M)

昨年9月末に、それまでの慣行を無視して65歳以上の郵政非正規職員13694人が、一方的に解雇された。これに怒った有志5人が提訴。初めての裁判が、2月9日、東京地裁620号法廷で開かれた。24の傍聴席に約60人、小さな法廷は「立ち見」であふれかえり、午後1時10分の開廷を待った。職員が退場を促すが、「たくさん来ていることを裁判長に見せたい」と立ち見の傍聴者は出ていかない。そこに裁判長が登場。目をシロクロさせ、「立っている人は外に出てください」。立ち見の人「もっと大きな法廷でやってください」と言い残して退場した。裁判では、解雇された丹羽良子さん・深尾忠典さんが堂々とした陳述を行い、同じ仕事をしながら、低賃金・不安定を強いられている非正規の実態を強く訴えた。(M) *写真=提訴した人たち

Eviction at Tatekawa River - 100 officers gather to drag away one person!

Right now (February 8th 11 a.m.) the Koto Ward Government is evicting a tent dweller living on the riverbed of the Tatekawa River. Tatekawa is a reclaimed river in Koto Ward in East Tokyo; along its banks many homeless people have been living in makeshift houses. When an eviction order was issued in January, most of the people moved out voluntarily. One of them remained because of bad health. but said he was preparing to relocate. (Ward officials have confirmed his willingness to relocate.) But suddenly this morning, more than 100 Ward officials, police and security guards have evicted him, dragging him off him by both his hands and feet, and now they are starting to tear down his house. (KUISAKO Ryota)