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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 December 4 - 10  > Disputed bills regarding Japan-US trade pact and teachers’ excessively long working hours forcibly enacted
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2019 December 4 - 10 [POLITICS]

Disputed bills regarding Japan-US trade pact and teachers’ excessively long working hours forcibly enacted

December 5, 2019
In the plenary session of the House of Councilors on December 4, the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties used their majority to bulldoze through a bill to give Diet approval to the Japan-U.S. trade deals on agriculture and digital trade in defiance of strong objections from the pro-constitutionalism opposition forces including the Japanese Communist Party.

Prior to the vote, JCP lawmaker Inoue Satoshi used his question time to oppose the Japan-U.S. accords on agriculture and digital trade. Inoue stressed that it is unacceptable for the government to respond to U.S. demands for the start of negotiations on a further Japan-U.S. trade deal which will make it even more difficult for Japan to ensure food safety and consumers’ right to choose and protect its economic and food sovereignty. Inoue said that the JCP seeks to establish an economic relationship with other countries which is equal and mutually beneficial based on respect for each nation’s economic and food sovereignty.

Later on the day at the Upper House plenary session, a bill to introduce the one-year variable working hour system in public schools with the revision of the special measures law on salaries and other working conditions of teaching personnel in national and local public compulsory schools as well as at other schools was forcibly passed and enacted by the majority vote of the ruling LDP/Komei block. The JCP along with its fellow opposition parties voted against the bill.

In the discussion prior to the vote, JCP lawmaker Kira Yoshiko took the rostrum to oppose the bill.

Kira stressed the need to implement effective measures to eliminate teachers’ excessively long working hours, such as measures to reduce teachers’ workloads and increase the number of teachers. She expressed her determination to continue tackling the issue of overworked teachers.

Past related articles:
> Japan-US trade liberalization may lead to increase in cancer-causing ingredients in school meals [November 29, 2019]
> Japan-US digital trade agreement will harm human rights protection online: expert [November 29, 2019]
> Bill to introduce new work hour system increasing risk of ‘karoshi’ among public school teachers passes Lower House [November 20, 2019]
> Without examining necessary information, Diet approves Japan-US trade pact [November 20, 2019]
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