Saturday, February 23, 2013

Japanese citizens counteract against ultra-nationalist's anti-Korea protest

Ever since the South Korean president visited the long-disputed Takeshima, or Dokdo, Islands last summer, protests by ultra-nationalist groups against special privilege of Zainichi (long-term Korean residents of Japan) have been escalating in Japan.
As the groups continued to stage hostile protests in the Korea Town of Tokyo, some Japanese expressed their opinions on the sidewalks in favor of maintaining amicable relationships with Korea and Korean people.

日の丸を林立させて、「竹島から韓国をたたき出せ!」「ソウ ルを焼け野原にしろ!」などとぶっそうなシュプレヒコールを上げる在特会系のデモ隊に対して、多数の市民が「反韓デモに対する意思表示」をする。新大久保のコリア・タウンで。

No Discrimination! Be Friends!- Citizens Raise Voice against Anti-Korea Demonstration

"Kick Koreans out of Takeshima Islands!" "Burn down the whole of Seoul City!" The marchers were chanting as they proceeded. Many were holding large Hinomaru Flags in their hands. Policemen in riot gear were standing along the road. A street demonstration by Zaitokukai, a right-wing group that claim to be protesting against privileges enjoyed by permanent residents of Korean decent, and various other groups and their sympathizers was held again in the evening of Feb. 17 in Shin-okubo, a major Korean Town in Tokyo. These right-wingers have had a series of ween-end Anti-Korea demonstrations in this town. There was however a new development last Sunday: A number of citizens staged protest against the right-wingers' demonstration holding signs that call for peace and friendship.
"It is O.K. to express political opinions, but it is not political activities to humiliate, disturb, or intimidate those who live in this town. It must be difficult for ethnic Koreans to speak up against racism. I think it's the responsibility of Japanese to raise voice not to tolerate it in our society, " said a female participant of the action. Another was holding a sign that read "I don't support this demonstration." Xenophobia is growing in Japan, but citizen's voice against discrimination and hate-speech is getting evident as well. (By M)
 YouTube Video (4 1/2 min.)


この行動に参加した女性は、「政治の問題で意見はけっこう。でもここで暮らしている人を貶めたり、邪魔したり、恫喝することは政治活動ではない。在日の人は声を上げられないと思うから、日本人がこういう社会を許してはいけないと声を上げなくてはいけないと思った」と語る。「私はこのデモを支持しません」と書いたプラカードを掲げる人もいた。排外主義の風潮が強まる中で、「差別・ヘイトスピーチはやめよう」と市民がしっかり声を上げ始めた。(М) 写真速報動画(YouTube 4分半)

Voice of Fukushima of the Tentcolor Program, Feb. 15: "I Want No One to Have the Same Sad Experience as Mine."

The 21st program of Tentcolor, the ustreaming program by the Occupy tent in front of Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry webcast every Friday since September last year, was aired on Feb. 15, featuring WATANABE Miyoko from Tamura City in the Voice of Fukushima segment. Watanabe, a native of a district of the city about 25 km away from the nuclear power plant, evacuated from her hometown with her grandchildren soon after the disaster and is now renting a house in another district in the same city that is more than 40 km away from the nuke plant. "So many sad things have happened and nobody around me can smile any longer. I've learnt to persevere, but still desire that my hometown and people's lives there will be restored as soon as possible. If it is impossible, I still hope that we be the last ones to experience such a tragedy: I want all the nuclear power plants to be stopped. I don't want the world to be full of sad people like us; that would be the end of the earth. I love the earth seen from the universe that shines blue and I love the people living on this planet. People in the world should help with one another instead of fighting. I want them to stop destroying the mother earth," she said live in the program.
 (By M)   *Photo: WATANABE Miyoko (center)
The archive video (Tentcolor No.21, 56 min., Voice of Fukushima starts at 02:00.)


Decontamination Workers Disclose Reduced Wages and Terrible Working Environments - Feb. 15 Workers' Rally in Solidarity with Fukushima

"Four of us were packed into one room of 8 tatami-mat size. Food was poor. We had to prepare masks by ourselves. In addition, we did not receive any hazard allowances that the national government must have paid to the original contractors," said two ex-decontamination workers who worked within the evacuation zone of Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant in their report in the February 15 Workers' Rally in Solidarity with Fukushima that was held in central Tokyo with 480 participants.
Major construction firms get orders of decontamination projects, which are subcontracted to smaller companies and then to secondary subcontractors. "The project we worked in was the one gained by a big construction firm located in Tokyo and subcontracted to OZE Corporation, a fully-owned subsidiary of TEPCO. It is absolutely unacceptable for a TEPCO subsidiary to earn from decontamination projects: it is like a doctor intentionally fails to treat patients in order to provide businesses for funeral home owned by himself," said the ex-decontamination workers angrily. They are members of National Union of General Workers Fukushima Solidarity and fighting for hazard allowances and other requirements that make their life and work decent.
In the rally, KAMATA Satoshi, a reportage writer and leading anti-nuclear activist, gave a lecture and IGARASHI Shiro, the representative of Fukushima Prefecture Peace Forum, made an appeal as a resident of Fukushima Prefecture. (By M)
 Ustream Video by Labornet TV (without subtitles) 

 「8畳の部屋に4人。粗末な食事。マスクは自腹。そして国から出ているはずの危険手当は払われていなかった」。 2月15日、東京・日本教育会館ホールで開かれた「福島とつながる2.15労働者集会」(480人参加)で、福島第一原発「警戒区域」で除染作業に携わった2人の労働者が、劣悪な職場実態を語った。除染事業は大手ゼネコンが受注し、下請け・孫請けに流す多重請負構造になっている。「我々の仕事の元請けは赤坂に本社があるゼネコンだった。二次下請けは、東電100%子会社の尾瀬林業だがこれだけは許せない。医者と葬儀屋が一緒にやっているようなものではないか」と怒りをこめた。かれらは「全国一般ふくしま連帯労組」に加入。危険手当支払いを始め「人間らしい生活と労働」を求めてたたかっている。また集会では、ルポライター鎌田慧さんの講演、五十嵐史郎さん(福島県平和フォーラム代表)の「福島からの訴え」があった。(M)

We Need True Substitute for Our Town, Says Futaba Mayor on His Last Day in Office

On the 11th of each month, the evacuees from Futaba-machi, Fukushima Prefecture living in the premise of a former high school in Kazo City, Saitama Prefecture, and visiting supporters observe a moment of silence to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the tsunami of March 11, 2012 and in the evacuation that followed. On Feb. 11, Mayor IDOGAWA Katsutaka (center in the photo) made a farewell speech to those who gathered as usual. "It's been 23 months since the tsunami and nuclear power plant disasters hit our hometown. I have to leave the office without positive development," he started. 
"I am stepping down, suddenly. I still have a lot that I want to do, but I am forced into a situation where I cannot pursue what I think I should." "I led you to come all the way down to Saitama Prefecture. Here, we have to endure a hard life as evacuees. I have made every effort to let the government hear us and understand that this is not the kind of life we want. If your car is damaged in a traffic accident, you can get a substitute while yours is repaired. But does our life here sufficiently substitute what we used to have back in Futaba? No. We need more humane living conditions where, at least, family members can live together." "It is radiation that is most difficult to tackle with in the problem that we have. Because we cannot see it, we are disguised: we errornously feel we are safe. I have always made warnings not to be disguised and will keep doing so. The resignation does not mean that I will not see you any more: I will keep doing my best with you as an ordinary citizen of Futaba just like every one of you." Then he shook hands with the people there, saying "Take care," or "Don't cry. We'll see each other more often from now on," and tapping their shoulders.
The people and the town hall of Futaba moved to the present location in April 2011. There were 1400 residents in the substitute town in the beginning, but many have moved out since then. Less than 100 remain now, most of them are elderly citizens who do not have any other places to go.They have lived in former classrooms and gymnasium in groups without privacy for respective families, being blamed for running away from Fukushima.   
In the autumn session last year, the town assembly decided to move the town hall to Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, but Mayor Idogawa has been opposing to the closure of the make-shift town. "My desire is that the children of Futaba reach adulthood and get married without being impaired by any aftereffects of the nuclear disaster," he told the reporters. "The government ordered us to evacuate from the town without providing any particular guidance or assistance. We had to identify where to and how all by ourselves. It is too inconsiderate for the government to tell us now to return to Fukushima without duly reflecting what they have done, or haven't done, for us since the nuclear disaster."
Idogawa took office in 2005 when the town was in a financial crisis: The budget could not be established then. It was soon after the town finance was reconstructed that the unprecedented disaster struck. He will leave the office after having been navigating the town through repeated crises for more than 7 years.The election will be announced on Feb. 28. Voting day is March 10.  (By HORIKIRI Satomi)    

双葉町・井戸川町長 最後の一日~「家族一緒に暮らせる生活こそが代車」
 埼玉県加須の騎西高校では、毎月11日に津波や避難生活の中で亡くなった人のため故郷・双葉町の方角に向かって、黙とうを捧げてきた。2月11日。いつものように双葉町民や支援者が集まる中、井 戸川町長(写真中央)が町民に向けて、最後の挨拶をした。震災と原発事故から1年11か月、皆さんにいい 報告が出来ませんでしたと切り出した。
 「突然辞職しました。まだまだやりたいことがありましたが、そ れが出来ない環境になってしまいました」「私は皆さんをこちら(埼玉)に連れてきた。この避難所の生 活はきびしい。決して皆さんが望んでいるわけではないことを、政府には声を大にして訴え続けてきまし た。交通事故でいうなら、事故を起こせば代車を借りることができる。でも、この避難所の生活が代車と 言われては困ります。人間的な、家族一緒に暮らせる生活こそが代車です」「この事故で困るのは、目に見えない放射能です。見えないがゆえに、安全だと錯覚させられてしまう。私はつねづね警告を発してきたし、これからもそうするつもり。ここで皆さんとお別れすることなく、今度は皆さんと同じ立場で一緒に頑張っていきたい」    集まった人たち一人一人と町長は握手を交わし「とにかく健康に注意して」「泣かないで。今までより身近になったんだから」と肩をたたいた。

The Struggle Was Rewarding! - Canon Case Plaintiffs Share Joy with Supporters

On Feb. 3, a rally to report back on the victorious settlement in the case over disguised contracting by Canon Co. Was held in Tokyo. A total of about 160 former plaintiffs, members of Canon Non-Regular Workers Union and supporters gathered to refresh the joy that the settlement reached on December 20 last year brought to them.  "On Oct. 17, 2006, I sent a letter to Canon. 'In order to concentrate on work and keep producing excellent products, I want to be free from anxiety over my employment status. Please make me a regular employee.' That was all I wanted then. I joined forces with colleagues who had the same problem as mine. We went to the Diet to request lawmakers for help. But Canon completely refused to talk with us. They forced us to choose between an exceptional offer of retirement allowance or lay-off. Many of the colleagues took the money and left. Then I filed a suit in June 2009. I was already in a situation where I was working day and night to earn living. Three years have passed since then. I did not take good care of myself and got cancer. But now I'm almost cured after two operations and chemotherapy. Due to the illness, I was fired by a transport company soon after I started working there. I don't have a job now,but  I am proud of the struggles I survived and hope for my future," said ONO Hideyuki, one of the former plaintiffs. (By SATO Kazuyuki) 
Photo: Ex-plaintiffs cutting 4 cakes on which the word victorious settlementis written
たたかってよかっ た!~喜びを分かちあった「キャノン争議勝利報告集会」
2月3日、エデュカス東京 で「キャノン偽装請負争議 勝利和解報告集会」が開催された。約160名が集まり、喜びを分かち合った。 当該の大野秀之さんは語る。「2006年10月17日、私はキャノンに対して手紙を出しました。『安心して働 き、いい製品を作りたい、そのために正社員にして欲しい』、願いはたったこれだけでした。また、同じ 苦しみを持つ仲間たちと連携し、想いを伝えるために国会にも行きました。しかし、キャノンはかたくな に門を閉ざしてしまいました。そして、休業か特別退職金という形で、仲間達と引き裂きかれた後の2009 年6月にキャノンを提訴しました。この時すでに、生活を支えるために昼夜を問わず働く、そんな生活になっていました。それから3年、体調不良を軽く見てしまい、がんを患ってしまいましたが、二度の手術を重 ね、抗癌剤治療をし、現在はほぼ完治と言える状態まで回復しました。病気が見つかったため、入社した ばかりの運送会社を解雇されてしまったため現在は無職ですが、闘った日々に胸をはって未来に希望をもって生きていきたいと思います」(佐藤和之)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

Strike Turns to Police Brutality at Tokai Rubber Industries in Guangzhou, China

Ahead of Chinese New Year celebration to take place on Feb. 10, China has seen outbreaks of disputes over wages and bonuses. Workers at Tokai Rubber Industries, which is headquartered in Komaki City, Aichi Prefecture in Japan, went on strike on Jan. 28 in protest against reduction of year-end bonus. Police mobilized to break up the protest led to violence against the workers and to some arrests. A subsidiary of Japan’s Sumitomo Group, which was established in 2003, manufactures anti-vibration hoses and rubber for automobiles. More than 1,000 people work at the company.


The strike at Tokai Rubber is just another worker resistance in China, according to Ellen David Friedman of Sun Yat-sen University. The expert in China Labor visited Japan in January to give a lecture on resistance of China’s workers and what it means to the labor activists around the world. The lecture at Meiji University talked about two important struggles in China: One was a protest against privatization of state-owned enterprise, Tonghua Steel in July, 2009; The other was a strike at transmission manufacturing plant of Honda Motor Corp. in May, 2010. Police was mobilized to break up the protest at Honda factory, but student interns, who were the workers there, resisted for two weeks, which led to cessation of the entire production at Honda plants in China. Workers prevailed to double the wages and rights to vote their worker representatives. The struggle, in the end, triggered an outbreak of strikes throughout China, David Friedman said.
(By Labornet International Division and TAKAHEI Masahito)
 Photo=Workers on strike, ustreamof the lecture)

中国:東海ゴム工業 広州工場ストライキ労働者に警官隊が暴行
国では210日の春節(旧正月)をまえに、年末一時金や未払い賃金などを巡る争議が多発しているようです。愛知県小牧市に本社のある東海ゴム工業株式会 社の広州経済技術開発区の現地工場でも、年末賞与が削減されることに抗議して28日からストライキに入っています。敷地内に多数の警官隊が動員され、労働 者に暴行し、逮捕者も出ています。広州東海ゴムは、日本の住友グループ参加の企業で、2003年に設立され、自動車用防振ゴムホースなどを製造。現在、 1000人以上の労働者が働いています。 

1 19()午後、東京・お茶の水の明治大学でエレン・デービッド・フリードマンさん(写真/中国広州・中山大学客員研究員)を講師に「現代中国の労働 運動 その実像、虚像と将来像」と題する研究会が開かれ、約40名が参加した。フリードマンさんは最近の中国労働運動を特徴づける2つの争議を紹介した。1つは 20097月に東北部にある通化鋼鉄で国有企業の民営化に労働者が反対して企業を買収しょうとした資本家を撲殺した事件である。もう1つは20105 月に広東省のホンダのトランスミッション製造工場で起こったストライキである。ストライキの妨害に労働組合の黄色の帽子をかぶった警察官が動員され、学生 たちを排除しようとしたがストライキを止められず2週間続いた。このストによってホンダの中国における全生産が止まった。この工場の労働者は賃金の倍増を 勝ち取り、組合役員を選出する権利も獲得した。この闘争をきっかけにストライキは全国に広がった。(レイバーネット国際部・高幣真公)
 *写真=ストライキ中の労働者 ユースト録画(報告部分) 

Angry Okinawa Presses Prime Minister for Demand in Tokyo

A group of 41 mayors, prefectural assembly members and Diet members all from Okinawa landed in Tokyo to file a demand in person with Japan’s prime minister and related ministers. The move makes the first ever attempt by Okinawans.
The group met with Prime Minister ABE Shinzo on Jan. 28 to demand that the government stop deployment of Osprey and abandon relocation of Futenma Air Base within Okinawa. More than 150 supporters gathered in front of the Diet in solidarity with Okianawa. Meanwhile, ultranationalist groups appeared with the national flags blasting “Yes to Osprey” from loud speakers. “They are probably feeling intimidated by our “All Okinawa” movement that brought 41 mayors,” one of the committee members of Okinawa said. “It means that our move had a strong impact.”

Ahead of the meeting with Abe, a rally was held at Tokyo’s Hibiya Park, near the Diet, which drew more than 4,000 supporters. The event titled, “Stop deployment of Osprey! Closure and relocation of Futenma Air Base! No to relocation in Okinawa! No Osprey! in Tokyo,” had all the Okinawan leaders onstage each making appeal. “Okinawans are together contemplating on the future of Okinawa,” OKNAGA Takeshi, joint representative of All Okinawa movement and a head of mayors group, said. “We are not making a living off of U.S. bases. They rather obstruct economic development of Okinawa. We want every Japanese person to think about US-Japan bilateral treaty and US-Japan Security Treaty in solidarity with us. (By M and OZAWA Kuniko) 

常国会召集日の128日、沖縄の直訴団は安倍首相との面談を実現させ、「オスプレイの配備撤回と普天間飛行場の県内移設断念」などを直接求めた。国会前 の歩道には、150人を超える支援者が午前10時から集まり、終日マイクアピールとシュプレヒコールを繰り返し、激励・連帯行動を取り組んだ。この日は前 日に引き続き、右翼が大量動員をかけ、日の丸を林立させ、大音量で「オスプレイ賛成」を叫んだ。右翼の過度な反応に主催者実行委員メンバーは「沖縄の全 41市町村の首長がオール沖縄の代表としてやってきた。それに対する危機感ではないか。それほどインパクトのある取り組みだった」と述べた。
 1 27日、日比谷野外音楽堂に4000名を超える人々が参加し、オスプレイ配備撤回!普天間基地の閉鎖・撤去!県内移設断念!NO OSPREY 東京集会が行われました。壇上には沖縄全41市町村の首長・議長、県会議員、沖縄選出国会議員、実行委員がずらりと並びました(写真)。これほど大規模な 上京要請はかつてなかったとのこと。5名の共同代表で組織し、オール沖縄で、総理大臣に対する直訴行動と関係大臣への要請行動を行うために沖縄からやって きました。共同代表で市長会会長の翁長雄志(おきながたけし)さんは、「沖縄県民はオール沖縄で基地・沖縄の未来を考えている。基地でメシを食ってるわけ ではない。米軍は沖縄の経済発展の阻害要因になっている。日米同盟、安保同盟について日本全体で考えてほしい」と訴えました。(M,尾澤邦子)