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Committee of Seven for World Peace

It was established in 1955 by seven public figures, including Japan's first Nobel laureate Hideki Yukawa. It has been publishing appeals calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons and peaceful resolution of international conflicts based on the humanism and pacifism of the Japanese Constitution.

Contingent workers

They can be categorized into two types depending on applicable laws.

One category is "dispatched workers" governed by the Worker Dispatch Law. In this case, staffing agencies lease out their workers to companies based on contracts between the two firms. Within a specified period, receiving companies can use these dispatched workers under their supervision. However, the companies are required to fulfill their responsibilities under the Industrial Safety and Health Law as well as to directly employ these contingent workers after a period of one year (three years from March, 2007).

The other category is contract workers. Manufacturing companies can contract out a part of their operations to subcontractors. In this case, subcontractors or staffing agencies must supervise the workers and are held responsible for their employment. Companies that contract out their operations cannot control these workers.

In Japan, the practice of "dispatching workers" had long been banned under the Job Stabilization Law based on the fact that contingent work had brought about the miserable working conditions in prewar days. In 1985, however, the Liberal Democratic Party government enacted the Worker Dispatch Law, followed by a series of steps further deregulating labor laws. In 2004, the government finally lifted a ban on dispatching workers to the manufacturing sector.

Contract work

It is a system in which workers, independent of a company's administration, complete a specific work task ordered by the company. Temporary staffing is a system in which a staffing agency leases workers to companies. An increasing number of companies use temporary and contract workers at low wages as a disposable workforce without full labor rights.Staffing services had been prohibited since the end of World War II on the grounds that employers' responsibilities become very vague and that workers are put in an extremely vulnerable position. However, the Temporary Workers Law, which was enacted in 1986 due to pressure from business circles, softened the ban. Since then, this law has been repeatedly revised. In 2004, the adversely revised law totally removed the ban on the use of temporary workers in the manufacturing industry. Only the JCP has consistently opposed successive adverse revisions.

Cooling-off period system

It is the time period of more than three months and one day in which employers do not accept the same temporary workers. The Worker Dispatch Law obliges employers to directly hire those who work as temporary workers for more than three years, but with this cooling-off period being sandwiched between three years and another three years, they are not regarded as continuous temporary workers. Therefore, in order to get around the law, many employers use this cooling-off period and repeat using workers as temps.

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