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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 March 23 - 29  > JCP Tamura urges gov’t to instruct RIKEN to withdraw planned dismissal of 600 researchers
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2022 March 23 - 29 [LABOR]

JCP Tamura urges gov’t to instruct RIKEN to withdraw planned dismissal of 600 researchers

March 29, 2022

Japanese Communist Party Vice Chair Tamura Tomoko on March 28 at a House of Councilors Audit Committee meeting demanded that the government order the National Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) to withdraw its plan to dismiss approximately 600 fixed-term contract researchers.

Tamura noted that under the revised Labor Contract Act which was implemented in April 2013, non-regular research workers on fixed-term contracts who have more than 10 years in continuous employment can claim to have their employment contracts converted to open-ended ones. The JCP lawmaker pointed out that RIKEN intends to terminate employment contracts of non-regular researchers whose period of employment is able to reach 10 years for the purpose of evading the law.

Pointing out that among 296 targeted researchers, more than 60 are leaders of laboratory research teams, Tamura said that their layoffs will lead to the demise of their teams.

As an example of the loss of lab teams, Tamura cited the Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (BDR) in Kobe City (Hyogo Pref.) which is the largest research center under RIKEN. This facility has played a role in COVID-19-related research. According to the JCP lawmaker, with the planned mass layoffs, 24 research teams at the RIKEN BDR will be disbanded. In addition, 17 out of the 24 teams cannot find new places to continue their research. Tamura said, “Under RIKEN’s mass dismissal, not only years of efforts made by researchers but also research equipment improved for many years will be ruined. This will cause a heavy loss to Japan.”

Tamura urged the Science and Technology Minister to instruct RIKEN to withdraw its mass dismissal plan.

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