Union workers on January 14 declared the start of a series of annual wage hike actions, the 2011 Spring Struggle, in front of the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) building in Tokyo. Their slogan, “Use excessive corporate internal reserves for wage increases and job creation!” resounded through Tokyo’s business district.
“The new cabinet lineup clearly reveals the Kan Cabinet’s loyalty to the business circles’ demands for a consumption tax increase and participation in the TPP,” Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo commented on January 14.
Defense Minister Kitazawa Toshimi agreed with his South Korean counterpart Kim Kwan Jin on January 10 to start discussions to reach the conclusion of a military equipment-sharing pact called the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA). Kitazawa stated that the ACSA discussions are part of measures to further develop military cooperation between Japan, the U.S., and South Korea.