JILAF invited a total of 10 persons from China and Indonesia to visit Japan from May 17 to 30, 2015. Given the differences in the two countries’ political systems, languages, and other factors, the participants were somewhat hesitant at first, but their approach to the two-week program was enthusiastic. Out of a desire to understand the situation in the other country and explain the situation in their own country, they used English to discuss labour-related issues and deepen their mutual understanding. Furthermore, they eagerly tried to learn about industrial relations and the labour situation in Japan, actively asking questions at the lectures and places visited.
Participants from both countries showed a strong desire to learn from Japan’s experience in organizing nonregular workers, improving their working conditions, and so on.
Through the labour-related lectures, the participants deepened their understanding of the knowledge required as a precondition for getting to know about the labour situation in Japan. In particular, they showed much interest in the conclusion of labour agreements and Japan’s tripartite system. In addition, the Indonesian participants asked many questions about Japan’s dispute resolution system, since in Indonesia labour-management negotiations often tend to break down and run aground. They enthusiastically asked questions with the aim of building good industrial relations and solving industrial disputes in an appropriate manner.
In the visit to RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation), they heard an explanation of RENGO’s structure and efforts to organize workers. The participants showed much interest in specific efforts to organize nonregular workers and efforts to strengthen training for personnel involved in organization. They also introduced activities in their own countries. In the industrial federation lecture, held with the cooperation of the Japanese Association of Metal, Machinery, and Manufacturing Workers (JAM), they were able to deepen their understanding of the various efforts of an industrial federation, including organization, the industrial federation’s mutual-aid system, and local activities.
In the regional program the participants visited RENGO Tochigi, where they were able to discuss a wide range of topics, including efforts to expand organization, and in particular the unionization of nonregular workers, to promote the shift of nonregular workers to regular status, to provide training for young people, and to organize women and promote their appointment as officials. They also visited the prefectural labour bureau and the Hello Work Utsunomiya public employment office, where they heard explanations of their structures and the labour situation in Tochigi Prefecture. They were also able to experience online job searching. The participants were amazed by the quality of the services at Hello Work Utsunomiya and asked questions about the content of vocational training and other matters. In addition, they visited the Tochigi Plant of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. to observe an actual workplace. The participants were clearly amazed by the equipment and high level of technology in the plant’s various processes and asked questions about and discussed the union’s activities for workers, the annual spring labour struggle, and other issues.