National organization of small traders and producers holds general assembly

The National Federation of Traders and Producers Organizations (Zenshoren), the national center of the movement for promoting small-scale businesses and improving living conditions of their owners, held its 45th general assembly on May 25-27 in Hiroshima City.

Reporting on Zenshoren activities since its previous general assembly, Secretary General Uchida Takeshi said that Zenshoren and its local branches (Minsho), are opposed to the Koizumi Cabinet's "structural reform" plans and the "disposal of bad loans," and have struggled to protect local financial institutions from going bankrupt and establish a financial system for the benefit of small businesses and the people.

In lively discussions by Minsho members from throughout Japan, a representative from Aichi Prefecture reported that his Minsho branch organized exchange meetings for various business categories, with many non-members taking part, learned how to increase their sales, and achieved a great deal of success.

Concluding the discussion, Uchida said that Zenshoren's and Minshos' struggles are playing an important role in protecting small-scale traders' businesses under the Koizumi "recession."

He stressed that their movement to protect small-scale traders against major companies' outrageous "profit first" business activities at the sacrifice of workers is an international trend and will meet the demands of the general public, including consumers.

The general assembly adopted an action policy that Uchida proposed, and elected Ichikawa Kiichi as the new president.

Japanese Communist Party Vice Chair Ishii Ikuko attended the general assembly and pointed out that under the prolonged recession and the "structural reform" policy, small-scale traders and producers are having unprecedented difficulties.

She called on Zenshoren members to expand cooperation to change the government economic policy so that small-scale traders and producers are duly respected in Japan's politics and society. (end)