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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 April 27 - May 10  > Shii in May Day rally calls for change of Abe gov’t in order to protect workers’ rights
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2016 April 27 - May 10 TOP3 [LABOR]

Shii in May Day rally calls for change of Abe gov’t in order to protect workers’ rights

May 2, 2016
On May 1, May Day rallies took place in 311 locations across the country with 160,000 people participating. Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo in his speech at the Central May Day rally in Tokyo called on the participants to increase efforts to work for the success of opposition parties’ electoral cooperation to bring down the Abe government with the aim of defending workers’ rights.

Shii said that Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s policies are failing in all fields including the economy and labor. He went on to say that although PM Abe has implemented preferential measures for large corporations under the pretext that the more corporations make profits, the better off the general public will be, in actuality, people’s lives are not becoming any better. The JCP chair stressed that the government should cancel the plan to increase the consumption tax rate to 10% and have large corporations and the wealthy shoulder their fair share of tax burdens through tax reforms.

Shii also stressed the needs for the tightening of labor rules, the promotion of the conversion of non-regular employees into regular employees, the elimination of excessively long working hours and heavy workloads, and the establishment of a minimum hourly wage of at least 1,000 yen.

The JCP chair said that Japan’s politics is at an important turning point in the context of postwar history. He noted that while the Abe government was trying to forcibly enact the unconstitutional war laws, public movements against the legislation widely expanded at a speed not seen in decades. Backed by these movements, opposition parties are building joint efforts to repeal the war legislation and overthrow the Abe government, which provides a ray of hope for the future, Shii said.

Shii pointed out that in the House of Representatives by-election in the 5th Hokkaido District in late-April, the opposition parties’ joint candidate was outvoted by the Liberal Democratic Party rival but by the narrowest of margins. He added that the opposition force has agreed to field joint candidates in 20 of the 32 single-seat constituencies in this summer’s House of Councilors election.

Shii called on participants to keep working to make the ongoing joint struggle among citizens and opposition parties successful, bring an end to the Abe government through election victories, and create a new politics based on constitutionalism, democracy, and pacifism.

Past related articles:
> May Day rallies call for increasing struggles against Abe’s war legislation and labor deregulation [May 2, 2015]
> Workers in May Day rallies resolve to fight against Abe’s ‘labor reform’ [May 2, 2014]

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