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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 November 1 - 7  > Taxi drivers’ union opposes PM Kishida’s plan to legalize ‘ride-sharing’ for safety concern
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2023 November 1 - 7 TOP3 [LABOR]

Taxi drivers’ union opposes PM Kishida’s plan to legalize ‘ride-sharing’ for safety concern

November 1, 2023

The All-Japan Federation of Automobile Transport Workers’ Unions (Jiko-soren/ATU) on October 31 held a press conference in the Lower House members’ office building to oppose Prime Minister Kishida’s plan to legalize ride-sharing, in which drivers, who wish to offer rides, use their privately owned cars to transport passengers for a fee.

The existing law prohibits ride-sharing for safety reasons. However, PM Kishida in his policy speech expressed his intent to lift the ban under the pretext of the need to deal with limited transportation options in rural areas. This move is in line with the business circle’s demand.

National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren)-affiliated Jiko-soren Secretary General, Takashiro Masatoshi, pointed out that companies operating ride-sharing platforms only match drivers and passengers and pay little attention to passenger safety. Furthermore, he noted that although many countries in Europe had introduced ride-sharing, 80% of the countries have decided to ban this service due to a frequent occurrence of sexual violence and other crimes during the use of the service. He criticized PM Kishida’s plan for going counter to the world’s trend.

Meanwhile, on this day, the Kishida government in a Cabinet-approved written response admitted that between 2019 and 2020, U.S. major ride-sharing companies received 998 reports of rapes and sexual assaults during rides.

According to the written response, a report released by U.S. leading ride-sharing operator Uber showed that 88% of the victims of rape between 2019 and 2022 were passengers.

In addition, the government’s document was unable to identify in which OECD member countries ride-sharing is not outlawed.

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