Japan Peace Committee
The Japan Peace Committee is a citizens' peace organization. The committee is active throughout Japan in order to prevent nuclear war, abolish nuclear weapons, support atomic bomb survivors, abrogate the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, remove U.S. military bases from Japan, defend peace provisions of the Japanese Constitution, and prevent Japan from waging a war again. The actual membership is 17,000.
Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA)
Article 17 of the SOFA stipulates that if "off duty" U.S. personnel, after committing a crime outside U.S. compounds, flee onto U.S. bases, the U.S. authorities have the right to detain the suspect until Japanese authorities prosecute.
The 1995 rape of an Okinawan schoolgirl by three U.S. servicemen caused a storm of public criticism against such privilege. In the wake of this, both governments agreed on an "improved administration" of the SOFA.
However, it covers only "murder, rape, and other heinous crimes." In response to Japan's request to hand over U.S. suspects before indictment, the United States is required to just "give favorable consideration." In short, the decision is left to the U.S. government.
JMIU (All Japan Metal and Information Machinery Workers' Union)
The JMIU is a nationwide union of workers in the metal and communication industries, including electrical machinery, steel, and auto manufacturers as well as computer and software makers. Affiliated to the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), it has about 300 branches at small and medium-sized companies as well as major corporations, including IBM Japan, Nissan Motor Co., and Nikon Corp.
In order to defend workers' rights and establish rules in the workplace, the JMIU is striving to build labor-management relations based on "agreement and cooperation."
The JMIU recognizes the support of anti-nuclear and peace activities as one of its important tasks. Peace actions the union has conducted recently include the adoption of the statement in protest against the Iraq war, a signature campaign in opposition to the wartime legislation, and organizing a delegation to the annual World Conference against A & H Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
JR discriminatory rehiring problem
When the Japan National Railways (JNR) was privatized and broken up in 1987, successor companies of JR did not hire 1,047 former JNR workers who were members of either the National Railway Workers' Union (Kokuro) or the All National Railway Locomotive Engineers' Union (Zendoro).