JILAF invited a total of 10 persons (including 4 women) from Cambodia and Indonesia to visit Japan from May 15 to 28. Cambodia and Indonesia have several common points of interest, such as the minimum wage, and the participants were eager to search together for ways and means to build good relations with the government and employers’ organizations. Since labour-management negotiations in their country often break down or run aground, the participants from Indonesia asked many questions about such issues as the Japanese system of labour-management consultations, and they showed a keenness to build sound industrial relations and good ways of settling industrial disputes.
In their visit to RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation), the participants received a lecture on the annual spring labour struggle and heard about RENGO’s stance concerning such issues as the government’s involvement in the spring labour struggle, the minimum amount of pension paid under the pension system, and raising of the age at which people can start receiving pensions. They engaged in lively discussions about these and other topics. In the visit to the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, the participants asked questions about the neutrality of civil servants at the time of labour-management disputes, methods of administrative guidance by labour standards inspectors, and the system of temporary payment of unpaid wages on behalf of the employer. In the visit to a regional branch of RENGO, the participants went to RENGO Toyama, where they discussed such issues as minimum wage deliberations and the checkoff system (the deduction of union dues from workers’ paychecks). In their visit to Zenrosai Kyokai (National Association for Workers’ Welfare and Cooperative Insurance), the participants discussed such topics as the relationship between investments and security and insurance categories.
In action plan proposals presented on the final day, the participants showed their determination to make efforts to practice what they had learned during the invitation program, including the building of constructive industrial relations, efforts to ensure job stability, and enhancement of the social security system. Furthermore, the participants from Indonesia proposed an extremely concrete plan for an alumni meeting of program participants. It is hoped that after their return home the participants will disseminate the results of their training and engage in positive activities in their own countries.