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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 January 22 - 28  > Yamashita grills PM Abe on his policies on labor deregulation and foreign relations in Diet interpellation
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2020 January 22 - 28 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Yamashita grills PM Abe on his policies on labor deregulation and foreign relations in Diet interpellation

January 25, 2020

Japanese Communist Party Vice Chair Yamashita Yoshiki on January 24 at the House of Councilors plenary session took the rostrum on behalf of the JCP to demand that Prime Minister Abe withdraw his labor deregulation policy aiming to increase the use of freelance workers and revise his foreign relation policy which is submissive to both the U.S. and China.

Yamashita cited PM Abe for expressing in his policy speech his intention to expand the use of freelance workers by saying that freelance work gives people flexible and diverse working styles. A Cabinet Office survey shows that currently, 30 million people work as freelancers.

Yamashita said that as freelance workers are normally designated as self-employed, they are not eligible for rules pertaining to the minimum wage and dismissals and for other protective labor measures. Pointing out that these workers are treated as the “ultimate” disposable labor force, Yamashita criticized the Abe government for intending to drive more workers into this minimally regulated labor force.

Stating that to realize decent work for all has become the world trend called for by the ILO, Yamashita demanded that the Abe government implement measures to increase minimum wages in combination with support for smaller businesses, establish labor rules that strictly limit the use of non-regular workers, and eliminate excessively long working hours.

In regard to questions about PM Abe’s stance toward the U.S. and China, Yamashita referred to U.S. President Trump’s demand for an increase in Japan’s share of the burden in the cost of stationing U.S. forces in Japan. Yamashita said that in the first place, the cost sharing scheme goes against the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement. He urged PM Abe not to accept Trump’s outrageous demand.

Regarding Abe’s stance toward China, Yamashita said that PM Abe in the summit talks with his Chinese counterpart at the end of 2019 made no protest against China’s constant intrusion into Japan’s territorial waters and suppression associated with human rights violations in Hong Kong.

In addition, Yamashita grilled PM Abe about the on-going scandals regarding the cherry blossom-viewing parties and the casino promotion scheme as well as about his policies on the struggling economy triggered by the consumption tax hike to 10% as well as on the policies addressing climate change.

Past related articles:
> Increase in precarious employment will cause ‘race to the bottom’ in Japan’s labor standards [December 12, 2019]
> Abe gov’t seeks to promote business-oriented policy on gig work [July 30, 2019]
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