||2010 May Day Central Rally
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,
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
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
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
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.