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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 March 1 - 7  > JCP publishes counterproposal to Abe’s ‘work-style’ reform
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2017 March 1 - 7 [LABOR]

JCP publishes counterproposal to Abe’s ‘work-style’ reform

March 4, 2017
The Japanese Communist Party on March 3 at a press conference held in the Diet building announced its proposed measures to reduce excessively long working hours and eliminate death from overwork as a counterproposal to the Abe government’s so-called “work-style” reform.

Introducing the JCP proposal, JCP Policy Commission Chair Kasai Akira referred to the fact that in 2015, the number of cases where people’s deaths, including suicides, were recognized as work-related reached 189. He said that what the Abe government intends to do is to legalize up to 100 hours of overtime a month which is the current official danger line for overwork-induced deaths. Kasai criticized PM Abe’s “work-style” reform for only aggravating the situation. He stressed that working long hours damages workers’ health physically and mentally, which has become a major factor in preventing the sound development of Japanese society.

Kasai explained that the JCP proposal’s main points are to limit overtime to 15 hours a week, 45 hours a month, and 360 hours a year as stipulated in the Labor Minister’s notification, drastically increase penalty rates for overtime, and establish rules for a sufficient interval between the end of a day’s work and the beginning of the next day’s work. Kasai said that the JCP proposal also calls for increasing the number of labor law enforcement officers.

Kasai emphasized the significance of the development in public opinion and movements aiming at creating a society where workers can work with dignity and balance their work life and family life. He added that collaboration between anti-Abe opposition forces and citizens concerned has shown much progress. As an example of this, he cited the four opposition parties’ joint submission of a bill to tackle the issue of long working hours. Kasai said, “The JCP will distribute the latest proposal to its fellow opposition parties and ask for their cooperation.”

Past related article:
> Gov’t seeks to set overtime at 720 hours a year, two times longer than current limit [February 16, 2017]
> 4 opposition parties jointly submit a bill to regulate working hours [April 20, 2016]
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