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82nd May Day Central Rally
RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) held the 82nd May Day Central Rally in Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, on April 29 with the participation of 9,000 union members. In the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster, the scale of the rally was reduced this year, and it was named the "Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster Assistance Rally."

At the beginning, condolences were expressed for the many precious lives that had been lost in the disaster, and all of the participants offered a silent prayer.

RENGO President Nobuaki Koga then introduced RENGO's activities relating to the disaster, including a fund-raising campaign, the dispatch of volunteers, and requests to the government, political parties, and business organizations. President Koga stressed, "In order to overcome this national crisis, we must tackle it with the power of not only the government and ruling parties but the whole of Japan, harnessing the full strength of local governments and the public and private sectors and transcending the walls between ruling and opposition parties. Based on our policy philosophy of solidarity and mutual support, let's bring together the total force of RENGO toward recovery and rebirth from the disaster and the realization of a 'work-oriented and anxiety-free society' as proposed by RENGO."

From the government, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama read a message from Prime Minister Naoto Kan saying, "I would like to express appreciation for RENGO's activities since the disaster, including the collection of donations and dispatch of volunteers. With the cooperation of the opposition parties, the government also will devote its utmost energy toward recovery and restoration. Japan has overcome many difficult situations so far. With the cooperation of RENGO, I believe that we can definitely recover this time as well."

The rally included reports from RENGO's Tohoku Bloc on the present situation in the disaster areas of northeastern Japan and efforts toward recovery and from RENGO volunteers on the activities of volunteers in the region.

The rally ended with the unanimous adoption of the "Great East Japan Earthquake: Linking NIPPON Relief Declaration."
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