JILAF invited a total of 11 persons from nine organizations in six countries and one region in Southeast Asia to visit Japan from June 24 to July 7.
The Southeast Asia Team consisted of participants from countries that differ considerably from one another in various respects, including political systems and economic conditions. The issues facing the participants’ countries therefore differ substantially depending on the national situation, and in the labour-related lectures and places visited there was a clear tendency for the participants to ask a variety of questions and make various statements in search of hints toward the solution of their countries’ problems.
In response, the Japanese side uniformly explained, among other things, that it is essential to show respect for labour-management discussions, such as collective bargaining and labour-management consultations, in order to solve issues between labour and management and that both labour and management must cooperate in order to improve productivity. As a result, despite the diversity among their six countries and one region, the participants were able to share a common understanding of just how important sound labour-management relations are for economic and social stability and development.
In the RENGO Aomori program, the participants received an explanation of the organization and activities of RENGO Aomori and its relations with the RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) Headquarters and with Aomori Prefecture. They also visited Hello Work Aomori and Job Café Aomori to observe the front lines of employment stability administration in Aomori Prefecture. In the industrial federation and workplace visit, with the cooperation of the Japanese Association of Metal, Machinery and Manufacturing Workers (JAM), they heard an explanation of JAM’s activities and engaged in discussions with JAM representatives.
In addition, the participants visited Nara Machinery Co., Ltd., where the union is a member of JAM. As well as observing the manufacturing process there, they took part in discussions with labour and management representatives on such topics as the company’s setup for checking products before shipment and its recreational activities.
Furthermore, in a joint session with the Overseas Human Resources and Industry Development Association (HIDA), which conducts an invitation program on the management side, the participants engaged in a debate with trainees from employers’ organizations in Asian countries taking part in HIDA’s training scheme on the themes of the building of constructive labour-management relations, productivity improvement, and social dialogue. This debate again served as an opportunity for the participants to recognize the importance of labour-management dialogue.