The Abe Administration’s wild behavior is reaching an extreme. In this Diet session, a battle is unfolding over the passing of collective self-defense legislation, the so-called War Bill. Masses of people are resisting the War Bill, whether by sitting-in or by swarming outside the Diet to demonstrate. The reason is that this bill the Abe government is now trying to pass is the greatest attack on the Peace Constitution since the Second World War. Indeed, it is an attack on the principle of constitutional government itself.
In Okinawa, cutting across political lines of conservative and progressive, an “all-Okinawa” struggle is developing centered around U.S. base construction in Henoko and Takae. Abe Administration versus All Okinawa–which is right? The message is reaching more and more people. The Henoko Fund has seen an unprecedented number of prominent people from mainland Japan announcing their support in response to Okinawa’s call. With total donations to the fund nearing 300 million yen, a full 70 percent of the total is from these “mainlanders”. From the ruling Liberal Democratic Party we hear absurd remarks like “crush the Okinawa newspapers”. They hold a majority in the Diet, but the angry voices of the people make them nervous enough to give themselves away.
The weakening–or rather, destruction–of the labor law system is also proceeding. The terrible amendment to the Dispatch Act has already passed the lower house. If we let it go on to become law, dispatch workers will be repeatedly used and thrown away every three years. Dispatch clients (mainly large companies) will be able to procure labor with no need to take on the responsibilities of an employer. They say excitable stockbrokers are bidding high for dispatch companies. The “Zero Overtime Law” will lead to more and more overwork deaths among full-time employees, and those who resist will face the financial solution called firing. This summer is going to be a moment of truth for the labor and anti-war movements.
We have not yet been robbed of hands to join together, nor of voices to shout with. We still have ears to hear our comrades calling. We still have eyes to see what those people are doing. Those who can stand up, stand up; those who can raise their voices, raise them. Let us stand firm in solidarity, and fight. Life is hard. Attacks from the companies, division between us and our colleagues: all of this is hard. It would be awful to have to regret that “we didn’t fight hard enough that time”. It’s us who will grasp the future. Now is the time to rise up!
July 18, 2015
Osaka Zenrokyo 26th Annual General Meeting
The General Union is a member union of the Zenrokyo union federation. Osaka Zenrokyo is the local level of this organisation