Invitation Program

Invitation program and follow-up implemented to nurture trade union leaders in developing countries

Young trade union leaders invited to Japan mainly from developing countries

In this program, which JILAF has been implementing since its establishment, young trade union leaders mainly in developing countries are invited to Japan in around 12 teams each year organized by region and theme; each team consists of 10–12 persons. Participants are recommended by national centers affiliated with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

The two-week program in Japan consists of (1) labour-related lectures; (2) a lecture and discussions at the headquarters of RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation); (3) a lecture and discussions at the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare; (4) a lecture at an industrial trade union federation; (5) an “Exchange of Views on Labour Situation” meeting, in which participants report on the labour situation in their own countries; (6) a visit to Hiroshima (or Nagasaki); (7) a regional RENGO branch program (lecture and discussions at the regional RENGO branch, visit to company and discussions with labour and management there, visit to a Hello Work public employment office for a lecture and discussions); (8) a lecture at the Japan Productivity Center; (9) a lecture and discussions at an employers’ organization; (10) a lecture and discussions at a workers’ welfare organization; and (11) proposal of action plans.

In addition, JILAF provides opportunities for Japanese labour-related personnel to gain new knowledge by organizing lecture meetings and symposiums on specific themes.

All of the activities in the program are extremely interesting for participants. In particular, in a visit to Hiroshima, one participant from a country possessing nuclear weapons commented, “Until now I had not been opposed to my country possessing nuclear weapons, but my thoughts have changed after visiting Hiroshima.” Another remarked, “I want to tell my colleagues about Hiroshima’s experience and convey to them just how stupid it is to possess nuclear weapons.”

So far 3,236 persons from 130 countries, 3 territories, and 6 international organizations have participated in the invitation program. After their return home, many of these participants have gone on to serve in leading positions in their countries, including as president, prime minister, government minister, member of parliament, and national center chairperson.

Program Contents

Day 1 Arrival in Japan
Day 2 Orientation / Opening ceremony
Labour lecture: “The Role of the Labour Movement in Japan and Issues”
Day 3 Visit to The Rengo Headquarters / Labour lecture: “Labour and Social Legislation”
Day 4 Visit to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare / Labour lecture: “The Democratic management of Trade Union and Organization Strengthening”
Day 5 Visit to industrial federation / Labour lecture: “Lecture on “Trade Union Leadership”
Day 6 Lecture on Japan Productivity Center / Lecture on Japanese Labour-Management Relations
Day 7 Follow-up
Day 8 Transfer/Visit to Hiroshima / Nagasaki
Day 9 RENGO local branch program / Discussions with RENGO local branch
Day 10 RENGO local branch program
Visit to local government / Visit to Hello Work office / Visit to Worker welfare organization
Day 11 RENGO local branch program / Visit to workpace: discussions with labour and management
Day 12 “Exchange of Views on Labour Situation” session / Group Work on “The Negotiating Power of Trade Union Executives”
Day 13 Visit to Labour Welfare Organisations / Presentation of Action Plan and discussion with Executives/Closing Ceremony
Day 14 Departure from Japan