Tuesday, April 25, 2017

’Pay the living wage!’~1,500 gather for Aequitas demonstration in Shinjuku

 Union members and citizens alike demonstrated for a national minimum wage of 1,500 yen on April 15, led by a youth group Aequitas (justice in Latin). This time, Aequitas called for greater participation from various labor unions, and their flags were allowed to go up. Labor unions including Rengo (Japanese Trade Union Confederation), Zenrokyo (National Trade Union Council), Zenroren (National Confederation of Trade Unions), and Federation of Independent Unions of Japan got together at the Shinjuku Central Park in Tokyo overcoming sectors and swelled up to a record 1,500 protesters.
 “The labor union flags are so colorful and beautiful,” said an activist AMAMIYA Karin with a ray of hope. “I’ve never seen so many flags at a demonstration. I hope the Aequitas movement will promote the labor movement to unite into one and gain a momentum.” A woman in her 20s who came independently said, “This is my first time participating in a demonstration, about which I learned through Twitter.  People around me are having difficulties as part-timers. I hope the standard of living will be raised higher.” When asked if it is strange to see so many labor union flags, she replied, “I felt relieved to see so many like-minded people here.” As people expect labor unions to struggle for workers’ rights, the flags hoisted together in large numbers and of various colors looked strong and powerful. 



‘We’ll never allow US military bases!’ ~A former fighter in the Sunagawa Struggle talks passionately on Labornet TV

 The former chief of Tokyo Federation of Students’ Self-government Association TSUCHIYA Gentaro (82, photo), who was arrested in the Sunagawa Struggle, poured out what was on his mind about the struggle on Labornet TV on April 12, and revealed “the state crime in the Sunagawa Trial.” As a boy, he was indoctrinated with militarism through the Imperial Rescript on Education, but after the war he was awakened to peace and had been at the forefront in the struggles against US military bases in Japan. Last year, he was removed by the riot police with the chair at the Henoko Gate of one of the most controversial anti-base struggles in Okinawa, where he was sitting in.
 “In 1950s and 1960s, 80 % of the US military bases were on the mainland Japan,” he said. “But with the surge of the opposition movements, the government moved most of them to Okinawa, which was still under American occupation. As a result, we imposed great sacrifice on Okinawa. I regret that we could not organize effective movements against the relocation of the bases. Now we must fight in solidarity with Okinawa.”
 He added, “Trump has put the Korean Peninsula in a very dangerous situation. Spy planes are taking off from the Yokota Air Base. Trump regards Japan and South Korea as subordinates and cares less whatever happens to us. Our anxiety will never be eradicated as long as we have US military bases in Japan. Let us raise our voices in order to abolish the bases.”
 I was overwhelmed by his passionate talk. (By M) 

米軍基地は絶対に許さない!」~砂川闘争・土屋源太 郎さんが激白

砂川闘争で検挙された元都学連委員長・土屋源太郎 さん(82/写真)。「教育勅
語」の教育で軍国少年だった土屋さ んは戦後、平和にめざめ、米軍基地反対の先頭
に立っていた。4 12日のレイバーネットTVでは「砂川事件裁判の国家犯罪」を暴
き、思いのたけを語った。土屋さんは去年、辺野古ゲート前の座り 込みに参加し、
機動隊にイスごと排除されたという。「195060 年代は米軍基地の8割は本土にあっ
た。しかし反対運動の高まりで 政府は大半の基地を占領下の沖縄に移した。その結
果、沖縄に大 きな犠牲を押しつけた。私たちは移設反対運動を当時十分できな かっ
たことを反省している。だからこそいま沖縄と連帯して闘わ なくてはいけない」。
「トランプのおかげでいま朝鮮半島は危険 な状態になっている。横田からも偵察機
が飛んでいる。トランプ は日本と韓国は属国でどうなってもいいと思っている。米
軍基地 がある限り私たちの心配は消えない。みんなで基地をなくすため に声を上げ
よう」。82歳土屋源太郎さんの激白にスタジオは圧倒さ れた。(M