Monday, August 16, 2010

“No More Karoshi! Ryu Foundation” award ceremony – With 130 people

The “No More Karoshi! Ryu Foundation” held the 4th Ceremony of the Nakajima Tomio Award in Katsushika Ward, Tokyo on August 1, 2010. The foundation gave the Nakajima Award of this year to Teranishi Emiko, who filed suit against the Japanese government for the disclosure of names of companies whose employees have died from overwork (President of the National Association for Bereaved Families of Karoshi Victims, center in the photo. Karoshi: Death from overwork). The venue was filled with 130 people partly thanks to a commemorative speech by Utsunomiya Kenji, the president of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and the Anti-Poverty Campaign. Before the start of the award ceremony, all the participants offered a silent prayer to the photos of Nakajima Tomio, who was husband of Nakajima Haruka (right in the photo of this report), the president of the Ryu Foundation, and died from karoshi in 2004 when he was a store manager of Skylark, a family restaurant chain, and of Maesawa Takayuki, who was a son of Maesawa Emiko (left), the vice president of the foundation, and also died from karoshi in 2007 when he was a contract store manager of the same restaurant chain. (Suda Mitsuteru)

The world of 300 yen per hour – Yasuda Koichi “Report: Migrant Workers in Discrimination and Poverty”

The “dormitory” was just like a back shed. Their breath was white in the drafty place. The Chinese trainees said, “It’s too cold to sleep without it”, holding a plastic bottle filled with boiled water for sleep. Everyone looked sad. The trainees told me with angry, regretted and painful expressions, “We don’t look like humans, do we?” It was no way to deny it, and I had no choice but to silently agree to them with dark and depressed feelings. I can never forget the scene when I interviewed migrant trainees and workers in a remote place of Gifu Prefecture for the first time. I was gripped by sense of helplessness in front of the workers whose hourly wage was only 300 yen. The only thing I can do as a writer is to “record”. (Yasuda Koichi) * Photo: Chinese trainees covered in Gifu

時給300円の世界を追う~安田浩一『ルポ 差別と貧困の外国人労働者』
物置小屋と見紛うような「寮」だった。隙間風が入り込み、吐く息は白く濁った。「寒くて寝られないから」と、熱湯で満たしたペットボトルを抱いて、中国人の実習生たちはベッドに入る。みんな悲しい目をしていた。憤りと後悔と苦しみに満ちた表情で、実習生たちは言った。「私たち、人間じゃないみたいでしょ」。私はそれを否定する言葉を持たず、暗く沈んだ気持ちのまま、無言で頷くしかなかった。岐阜県の山中で、初めて外国人研修生・実習生の取材をしたときの光景を忘れることができない。時給わずか300円の労働者を目にして、私は無力感にとらわれた。一記者として私にできるのは「記録」することだけだ。(安田浩一)  *写真=岐阜で取材した中国人実習生

Total victory in lawsuit over sexual harassment against female SDF official – Supported by various unions

“The defendant should pay 5.8 million yen to the plaintiff”. I cried with joy when I heard the chief judge give the verdict. This lawsuit is the first in Japan to sue the state over sexual harassment committed to an in-service female Air Self Defense Force official by her superior, who lived in a dormitory of an ASDF base three years ago at the age of 20. The plaintiff fought out the battle, surrounded by “enemies”. Even though she was isolated in the base, she was supported by a group of reliable lawyers and conscientious people outside the gate. Trade unions also supported her regardless of their differences as national centers. On July 29, 2010, Chief Justice Hashizume Hitoshi of the Sapporo District Court rendered an epoch-making decision that becomes a leading case for sexual harassment issues also in private companies. (Suzuki, Sapporo General Union)
* Photo: Sato Hirofumi, Hideshima Yukari and Kobayashi Yuki from left to right, group of lawyers

「主文、被告は原告に対し580万円を支払え」裁判長の声が響いた瞬間、私の涙腺が緩んだ。これは今から3年前、航空自衛隊の某基地に住み込みで勤務する原職の女性自衛官(当事20歳)が、上官から受けたセクハラ被害(性的暴行)について、国を訴えた全国初の裁判です。原告女性は、周りを「敵」に囲まれたまま、この裁判を最後まで闘い貫きました。基地の中では孤立させられても、基地の外には頼もしい弁護団、そして心優しい支援者がいたのです。労働組合もナショナルセンターの枠を超えて支援しました。そして7月29日札幌地裁(橋詰均裁判長)は、一般の民間企業のセクハラ問題に際してもリーディングケースとなる、画期的な判決を下しました。(札幌地域労組・鈴木)  *写真=左から弁護団の佐藤博文・秀嶋ゆかり・小林由紀の各氏

Labor Film Festival 2010 – 220 audiences from all age groups

On July 24, 2010, the Labor Film Festival was held on the 6th floor of Tamachi Kotsu Building in central Tokyo, with 220 audiences. The participants were from an unprecedentedly wide range of age groups, such as young union members and seniors. Screened in the well-equipped hall were “Capitalism: A Love Story”, “No Time to Die”, “Garment Girls of Bangladesh”, “Frontline of Japan’s Labor Movement” and “Your War and My War”. At the lobby, Johnny H performed impromptu “Sales Promotion Songs”. After “No Time to Die” was shown, 86-year old Masunaga Sumiko, who appeared in the film, talked on the stage (photo). Her comment was very impressive, “I was only taught to kill as a child of the Emperor before World War II. Trade unions have enabled me to think about human lives and learn free and real ways of living as a human being”.

レイバー映画祭2010 開催される~若者から年配者まで220人

Media activists in Japan inspired – Discussion with Kim Myeong-jun

On July 25, 2010, there was a discussion event with Kim Myeong-jun (photo), the president of MediACT, a media center in South Korea. The event was joined by 25 media persons from OurPlanetTV, the Asia Press Club, LaborNet, Video Act, Champon, MediR, NPJ and LaborNow!. Mr. Kim talked about achievements and limitations of MediACT that started eight years ago with government subsidies for an hour. While he referred to the expansion of independent films and grassroots media and the nurture of excellent film creators as achievements, he admitted the danger of depending on government subsidies. At present, Mr. Kim has started a wide-range movement called “Media Action” in cooperation with unions of mass media for reorganizing the media movement. Networking of the movement is also an issue in Japan, and the discussion at this event strongly inspired the participants. (M)


Here Comes a Vulture. By Ichihanahana

This is a news report about a “vulture” dated July 15, 2010. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued an annual report on Japanese economy on July 14, 2010 and suggested that, beginning in fiscal 2011, there should be "a modest consumption tax increase” to stabilize Japan’s finances that are among the worst in developed countries. The increase became the biggest cause of the defeat of the Democratic Party of Japan, the major party in the recent upper house election. The IMF said, “’It is necessary for Japan to gradually increase the consumption tax’ as a part of “early and credible” fiscal adjustment to reduce its debts that amount to 200% of Japan’s gross domestic product (GDP). Cartoon by Ichihanahana

ハゲタカがやって来た 作 : 壱花花
以下は、7月15日マスコミが報道した“ハゲタカ”ニュースです。<国際通貨基金(IMF)は7月14日、日本経済に関する年次審査報告を発表し、先進国で最悪の水準にある財政健全化のため、2011年度から消費税を「段階的に」引き上げるべきだと提言した。消費税増税は先の参院選で民主党大敗の最大要因となった争点だが、IMFは国内総生産(GDP)比200%の日本の債務残高を解消するための「早急で信頼性の高い」財政改革の一環として、「段階的引き上げは必要」と指摘した>。 風刺漫画(壱花花)