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Joint Appeal of Three Japanese Unions

Joint Appeal of Three Japanese Unions

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On November 19 last year, the Hibiya Open-Air Concert Hall in Tokyo was filled with enthusiastic 2,800 people from all over Japan, in spite of the remaining Covid-19 pandemic. More than 200 people jumped in the demonstration along the roadside, making it the largest demo in recent years. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all those who supported our struggle.

A large number of foreign workers and students living in Japan participated in the event. It symbolized that wars and coup d’etat over Ukraine, Gaza, Taiwan/China, Myanmar, and other areas have plunged into quagmires and intensified, and that the Japanese government is deeply involved in them. It also reflected the current situation of the Japanese society in which the number of foreign workers has surpassed two million, and above all, the irreplaceable solidarity that has been built up since the year before through countless anti-war demonstrations and struggles organized by our colleagues across the country and numerous workplace struggles.

At the rally, the representatives of the three unions and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) Seoul Regional Council read their Korea Japan Labor Joint Statement and the all participants adopted the Palestine Solidarity Resolution. The November Rally 2023 marked a landmark in terms of the advancement of international solidarity, making 3,000 participants’ determination: “the power to stop war and change society lies here with us—workers who forge solidarity across borders.”

In the following days, the members of the Minato-Godo Shoichi Metal Branch, JAM Japan Machinery Workers’ Union, Funabashi Futawa Hospital Workers’ Union, SK Sakura Transportation Workers’ Union, and other workers who were at the forefront of organizing the November Rally waged strikes from November to December. By uniting with these struggles, the November Rally has provided us with an opportunity to develop a rally and demonstration into a struggle for a genuine change of the labor movement. We hope to further promote this fresh achievement and have determined to issue a joint appeal for the third time.

All around the world, the battle cry of “Stop the Gaza genocide now! Free Palestine!” is roaring. The world is in the midst of struggle which is shaking the time against the crisis of wars, now engulfing Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the rest of the world. In East Asia, the threat of an aggressive war against China under the pretext of a “Taiwan contingency” is rapidly rising, and the Kishida administration, rocked by the slush fund scandal, is pushing ahead with a massive military buildup. The revision of the Three Security Documents has fundamentally changed the character of the nation: even the doubled military budget—43 trillion yen for next five years—is to be exceeded. In the name of “national defense as a national power,” a “mechanism to effectively utilize the budgets of all ministries and agencies for strengthening the comprehensive defense system” has been created. In the ordinary Diet session, a bill to revise the Local Autonomy Act—final dismantlement of local governments’ autonomy—is to be railroaded.

The crisis of capitalism, which has lost its last room for growth, is the root cause of war. Above all, neoliberalism has starved hundreds of millions of people around the world, destroyed all that is democratic, and created violent clashes between countries. Confronting the economic and political crisis that has been brought about in these conditions, workers’ revolts around the world have flared up in huge waves of demonstrations, strikes, and burning cries of national liberation.

In Japan, we are facing an extraordinary situation that the financial circles and the government are repeatedly shouting for “higher wages”. Behind this a grave crisis, which may lead to a total collapse, is deepening. In consequence of forcing the lower wage over the 30 years, they have finally become aware with astonishment the reality of collapsing society. And now they fear the on-going development that voices of unbearable anger fill the earth, break out in struggles and finally flare up in strikes.

“It’s no joke! Who have been plunging 21 million workers into non-regular employees?” We must raise the voice of accusation now. Rengo (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) is also to be blamed for lending a hand to this. We are determined to strengthen the anti-war struggle, and also make our full effort for revitalization of strikes.

Once more again, we present the following 4 tasks: Firstly, we ask you to concentrate all nationwide efforts to smash the massive crackdown on Kan-Nama and the JR Company’s assault on workers to establish a society without unions.

Kan-Nama has gained the acquittal of 7 members in the ruling of the Otsu District Court after the earlier same ruling of Osaka High Court for the Wakayama case, and is now going over to counter-offensive.

Secondly, let’s rise up for putting an end to neoliberalism, and for revitalizing workers’ rights which have been ruined and for the rebuilding of the society which has been completely torn apart! Only Workers’ united struggle can achieve such fundamental change.

Thirdly, let’s rise up for the anti-war struggle as the most important task of labor unions! Especially we must do our best for stopping the war in East Asia.

Fourthly, let’s develop the international solidarity across borders, as an indispensable task of labor movement! This is the most urgent task for us.

We have a strong desire to develop powerfully November Rally which began 27 years ago, with a nation-wide appeal to fellow workers: “Let’s build all Japan network for fighting labor unions!” 

We call on you to join us in International Workers’ Anti-War Rally—Ten Thousand People’s March against Constitutional Revision and War—at Hibiya Open-air Concert Hall in Tokyo on Sunday November 3, with slogans: “Stop Constitutional Revision and War by Workers’ United Power! End neoliberalism! Let’s revitalize the labor unions!” 

Our steady step forward can open up a new path. We sincerely ask you to participate with a lot of fellow workers in this struggle. Let's fight together!


February 11, 2024

Solidarity Union of Japan Construction and Transport Workers Kansai Area Branch (Kan-Nama) 

Metal and Machinery Workers’ Union in Osaka (Minato-Godo)

National Railway Motive Power Union of Chiba (Doro-Chiba) 


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