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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 April 11 - 17  > Osaka mayor defends assemblyman over fabricated anti-union data
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2012 April 11 - 17 TOP3 [CIVIL RIGHTS]

Osaka mayor defends assemblyman over fabricated anti-union data

April 13, 2012
Osaka City Mayor Hashimoto Toru keeps defending an assemblyman of the mayor’s own party “Osaka Ishin-no Kai” who presented fabricated information to the city assembly with the intent of attacking a city workers’ union.

Iwasaki Kenta, Japanese Communist Party member of the Osaka City Assembly, at an assembly transport committee meeting on April 12 criticized Hashimoto for contributing to eroding the citizens’ trust in the city administration by continuously defending the assemblyman despite knowing the fact that the data turned out to be a forgery. Iwasaki demanded that the facts be clearly revealed.

Hashimoto in reply said, “It doesn’t constitute defamation because he had some reasonable grounds even though it was false information.”

An Osaka City office workers’ union affiliated with the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) is seeking an apology from the “Osaka Ishin-no Kai” for having used the fabricated data at the assembly, but the local party has so far refused to do so.

Giving support to his party, Hashimoto said, “There is no need to apologize,” and even stated, “Assemlypersons, as you represent the citizens, you can speak up as you want.”

During the Osaka City mayoral election campaign in autumn last year, a former part-time employee of the Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau made up a fictitious list, claiming that it was created by the city workers’ union. The list included 1,867 names of the city’s transport staff and reported on union members’ progress of finding friends who could support a rival candidate (to Hashimoro).

Sugimura Kotaro of the “Osaka Ishin-no Kai” obtained this fabricated list and presented it to the assembly without seeking due confirmation or verifying its authenticity.

Following the release of the list by Sugimura, Mayor Hashimoto conducted a survey on city workers’ political beliefs by saying, “Political, union activities by the city workers, which are considered to be illegal or inappropriate, have taken place.”

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