Ground zero: Tokyo Olympic Village is scheduled to be built in the capital's Harumi waterfront area. The government wants more foreign workers to be brought into Japan to cover labor shortages in the buildup to the Olympics. | KYODO My first Labor Pains column of the new fiscal year will look at the government’s recent proposal for bringing in foreign workers. Various proposals on easing immigration restrictions for foreign workers have been bandied about in recent years, but they were inevitably scrapped because “Japan is but a tiny island nation.” (In fact, Japan is the fifth-largest island nation in the world, after Australia, Indonesia, Madagascar and Papua New Guinea.) [...]
(Reuters) - Japan is considering expanding a controversial program that now offers workers from China and elsewhere permits to work for up to three years, as the world's fastest-aging nation scrambles to plug gaps in a rapidly shrinking workforce. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party on Tuesday submitted a proposal to let workers to stay for up to five years, relax hiring rules for employers and boost the number of jobs open to them. (more…)
New NHK President Katsuto Momii made headlines around the world with his claim that “comfort women” have been a common feature of conflicts involving “every country.” Using sex slaves in wartime, he said, was only wrong according to “today’s morality.” Causing great concern to press-freedom advocates, he also insisted that “when the government says ‘right,’ we cannot say ‘left.’ “ (more…)
ZCommunications founder and staff member Michael Albert weighs in on our chat with Noam Chomsky. Follow the link and read his thoughts on the subject of Participatory Economics. Chomsky Chat Criticized
The Tozen GABA Local leafleted the GABA Tokyo Learning Studio this morning in protest of their unfair discipline towards local president Tyler Christensen. The GABA Local also leafleted the Yokohama LS on Saturday night. On each occassion the union leafleted to both clients and instructors there - to let them know about Gaba's persecution of Tyler. The responses were really positive; people continue to be outraged by Gaba's seemingly senseless refusal to negotiate. Afterwards, the Local held its monthly meeting at a nearby restaurant, which prospective members could also attend. Tozen's Gaba local continues to grow.
Last Friday, Tozen GABA Workers Union took its first all day action against GABA's threat to fire Tozen GABA Workers Union President Tyler Christensen. We began at 6AM to leaflet GABA Shinagawa Learning Studio. We moved on to Gaba corporate HQ at 9AM. There as we handed out leaflets, GABA representative Satomi Odaka emerged from the building. The union handed Mr. Odaka a notification of dispute, outlining the specific demands of our dispute. You can read about them here. Mr. Odaka responded by asking for our "road use permit," which we don't need, physically obstructing Case Officer Gerome Rothman and threatening to call the police. GABA then took the step of calling the [...]