Rengo to block passage of wartime bills

The Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) has decided to oppose a hasty enactment of the three bills on contingency legislation, although it supports the need for such legislation within the constitutional framework.

The labor federation announced this position on May 16 after heated debates took place among Rengo members. Some expressed "firm opposition" to the wartime legislation itself, and others insisted on the "need to discuss the contingency legislation. " Also, questions arose about the constitutionality of the contingency legislation.

On April 17, Rengo President Sasamori Kiyoshi included both arguments in a Rengo statement on the emergency bills, but finally arrived at the conclusion that the three wartime-related bills contain many uncertainties about citizens' freedom and basic rights in the event of an emergency, and the new laws under consideration will adversely affect Rengo members' lives and livelihood.

Rengo has many member unions in military-related industries, and also in the public sector (including dock workers and seamen), Japan Railways (JR), Nippon Telegram and Telecommunications (NTT), and Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), all of which may be requested for war cooperation if the bills are enacted.

The All Japan Seamen's Union, Japan Teachers' Union, Japan Central Federation of National Public Service Employees' Unions, General Federation of Private Railway and Bus Workers' Unions of Japan, and All-Japan Prefectural and Municipal Workers' Union are also expressing their opposition to the bills.

Rengo is planning to hold a sit-in in front of the Diet Building in a bid to block the wartime bills. (end)