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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 May 28 - June 3  > Public service employees’ system ‘reform’ bill sent to Upper House
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2008 May 28 - June 3 [LABOR]

Public service employees’ system ‘reform’ bill sent to Upper House

May 29 & 30, 2008
The bill to reform the national public employees system was sent to the House of Councilors on May 29 after passing through the House of Representatives by the majority of the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties along with the opposition Democratic Party.

The Japanese Communist Party voted against the bill.

The bill was put to the vote, first at the House of Representatives Cabinet Committee on May 28 and then in the plenary session on the following day, with some amendments made based on closed-door negotiations between the LDP, Komei and DPJ.

In the closed door negotiation on May 27, the three parties agreed to modify the government bill and have the bill enacted by June 15, the final day of the current 150-day Ordinary Session of the Diet.

The House of Representatives Cabinet Committee spent only 1.5 hours on the discussion of the modified bill.

At the committee meeting, JCP representative Shiokawa Tetsuya said that the bill, if enacted, will only help increase corrupt relations between government bureaucracy and businesses circles because it will make it easier to exchange personnel between government agencies and the private sector. Corporations will have more chances to increase their profits, he added.

He said that it will also give rationale to the existence of privileged “career” bureaucrats by introducing a general career examination system.

He criticized the bill for failing to restore the basic labor rights to public service employees and making it possible to change working conditions without workers’ consent, including cutting wages, in a way that is detrimental to workers.

“Essentially, the government bill to reform the public employees system is aimed at meeting the demands of the businesses circles with the aim of deepening the government “structural reform policy” that has already increased poverty and economical inequalities,” Shiokawa said.

On May 28, JCP Diet Policy Commission Chair Kokuta Keiji commented that the JCP opposed the government bill and its amended version because the JCP believes it very important to make clear what should be achieved by implementing the institutional reform.

Kokuta emphasized that the bill and its amended version does not respond to the needs of the people to eliminate cozy relations among politicians, bureaucrats, and businesses circles.
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