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No.24(2010/5/21)
2010 May Day Central Rally

The eighty-first May Day Central Rally was held in Tokyo's Yoyogi Park on April 29 with the participation of 33,142 union members. This year's rally fell on the twentieth anniversary of the founding of RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) and also was the first festival of workers since last year's change of government in Japan from the Liberal Democratic Party to the Democratic Party of Japan.

Speaking on behalf of the organizers, RENGO President Nobuaki Koga said, "Japan's driving force is its 55 million employed workers. In order to improve and maintain their standard of living, three points are essential---(1) to create jobs and establish decent work through government responsibility, (2) to achieve the appropriate distribution of results to working people and in particular to strengthen distribution to nonregular workers, and (3) to greatly increase the minimum wage. We will thoroughly urge the government and management to realize these three points. It is labour unions that are the truly functioning safety net for working people. We will further promote efforts to improve the working conditions of all working people, including nonunion workers and nonregular workers, realize a RENGO membership of 10 million union members, build a society in which it is taken for granted that unions exist in all places of work, and strengthen our efforts for all working people."

On behalf of the government Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama addressed the rally, saying, "We will restore happiness and vitality to Japan and build a society in which working people are rewarded. For that purpose, we want to hold thorough discussions with RENGO concerning employment and labour policy."

The Central Rally adopted a slogan and a May Day Declaration proclaiming "Through the solidarity of all working people, let's tackle peace, human rights, labour, the environment, and symbiosis and build a welfare-oriented society centered on labour and a free and peaceful world!" The rally ended after all of the participants together had reaffirmed their commitment to these objectives.

In addition to the rally, a May Day Festival was held at the site with 73 organizations operating booths. The Japan International Labour Foundation (JILAF) also participated, introducing its main activities, such as its invitation program and field projects, through panels.

May Day Declaration

Today, we have the 81st Central May Day Rally.
The conditions surrounding workers still remain tough. The Japanese economies sank into a double dip recession. Many Japanese people have felt anxieties about their living and future.

What we are calling for is the construction of the society in which the just and fair rights for all the people are protected. The regime change was realized. Now is the time to secure the change of the social value, extend the social safety-net for employment, living, health, security and safety of all working people. And the policy to create the society with hope and security for everyone has to be realized.
We need to ensure the victory of recommended candidates in the next House of Council election to establish the accomplishment of regime change.

This year is important in the peace activities. The Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will be held in New York this May We will submit 10million signatures appealing for the elimination of nuclear weapons and implement peace rallies such as " New York Action in 2010" to achieve the goal of effective agreement at the NPT review conference.
This year, the 50th anniversary of the Revision of US-Japan Security Treaty, we make every effort to make Japan Status of Armed Forces Agreement amend drastically and the US base rearrange and reduce, which is longstanding issues.
We will enforce the further actions and appeal to achieve the lasting peace in the world and the nuclear disarmament.

May Day is the day for international solidarity. We, in corporation with ITUC, will fight to end the poverty, hunger, environmental destruction, violation of human rights, conflict and terrorism, and to realize the decent work.
Now we pledge to engage in "peace, human rights, jobs, environment, coexistence, with the solidarity of all working people and cooperation of NPO and NGO, and to realize free and peaceful world and labor based welfare society.

Let's protect the workers' living and realize the policies to secure and create employment, to halt the freefalling economy. Hurrah for the 81st May Day!

RENGO's Action in New York Against Nuclear Weapons

Together with the Japan Congress Against A- and H-Bombs (Gensuikin) and the National Council for Peace and Against Nuclear Weapons (Kakkin), RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) from May 2 to 4 organized several events in New York to urge the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference, which was being held there from May 3 to 28, to achieve an effective agreement. The conference reaffirmed the clear commitment of the nuclear weapons states, adopted in 2000, to work toward the abolition of nuclear weapons and was conducting discussions aimed at increasing the efficiency of the NPT regime.

In connection with the NPT Review Conference, RENGO, together with Gensuikin and Kakkin, had developed a campaign since last year to collect 10 million signatures for a petition calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. As part of the action in New York, RENGO handed the collected signatures, addressed to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to Ambassador Libran N. Cabactulan, the president-elect of the 2010 conference, and Sergio de Queiroz Duarte, who was president-elect of the 2005 review conference.

Together with nongovernmental organizations from around the world, RENGO also took part in a 2 km peace walk from Times Square to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the UN Headquarters. The participants in the walk carried placards and signboards calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons to communicate their appeal to the citizens of New York. In addition, through a photo exhibition relating to the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and other events held at the UN Headquarters and nearby park, RENGO called broadly for the understanding of citizens and their participation in the campaign to abolish nuclear weapons.

Furthermore, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and RENGO organized an international meeting on the role of trade unions toward the abolition of nuclear weapons. Among the participants were Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba and Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue, who, as mayors of cities that suffered atomic bombings in the past, called for the abolition of nuclear weapons and strengthening of the NPT regime and vowed from now on also to take action together with likeminded persons around the world toward the elimination of nuclear weapons.

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