Foil bad bills: rallies and demonstrations

To foil the government's attempt to railroad through two bad bills (the medical insurance system-related and the contingency bills) through the Diet at its final stage, rallies and demonstrations took place on June 13 in several cities. The whole day, voices of protest echoed throughout the Diet Building.

In Tokyo, about 3,000 citizens met at the Hibiya Amphitheater demanding that the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties stop their scheme to unilaterally pass the medical insurance bill through the Lower House committee on June 14.

The Central Council for Promotion of Social Security and the Liaison Council of Various Workshops against Contingency Legislation organized the meeting.

Addressing the rally, Kobayashi Yoji, National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) president, stated, "Securing early and preventive medical care is the most effective way of using taxpayers' money. But the bill will hamper this. The Diet session must not be extended to enact such a bad bill."

A nurse from the Japan Red Cross Hospital's trade union denounced the government for forcing the people to pay a total of 1.5 trillion yen as insurance premiums and hospital charges.

Another rally was held with about 800 women in the rain, while 600 activists carried out a sit-in throughout the day in front of the Diet Building.

In Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture, a rally was co-sponsored by affiliates of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) and Zenroren. Among the 4,000 participants were local government workers, dock workers, members from the YWCA, and members of the Japan Confederation of A and H Bombs Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo).

In Kyoto, about 2,800 people rallied under the call "Let's defend the peaceful Constitution!" They listened to addresses by the Communist and Social Democratic parties, and messages from the Democratic Party of Japan, Kyoto Bar Association chair, and Kiyomizu-dera (Temple) chief priest.

A representative of Honzan-shugen (Buddhist trainees) sect reported that it has adopted a resolution in opposition to the bills, stressing that Japan must establish a way toward eternal peace.

A similar rally took place in Kagawa Prefecture on June 12 with about 3,000 people. (end)