Date: Thu, 7 May 98 13:17:08 CDT
From: Workers World <>
Organization: WW Publishers
Subject: May Day Around the World
Article: 34245
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
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May Day around the world: Japan: ‘Our anger is reaching the limit’

Workers World, 14 May 1998

On May Day, an estimated two million workers marched and rallied in 1,100 protests across Japan. The capitalist crisis—first felt in the most oppressed Asian economies—is also affecting the working class in imperialist Japan.

Unemployment in Japan hit a record high in March of 3.9 percent. The official number of jobless Japanese workers is 2.77 million. That's the highest unemployment rate in the country since compilation of data began in 1953.

Employment is the most important matter for any workers, Etsuya Washio, chairperson of the Japan Trade Union Confederation (Rengo), told 100,000 people at a rally in Yoyogi Park in Tokyo.

Protesters carried banners that read: Stable employment is the top priority, Workers' rights must be protected, and Stop murderously long working hours.

Our anger is reaching the limit, said a 33-year-old female worker at the rally.

We really need jobs, a 42-year-old construction worker stressed.

The part-time workforce employed by Toyota and Nissan will be slashed in half, company officials announced on April 30.

We are facing growing fears of unemployment, Yoji Kobayashi told 100,000 gathered at a rally in central Tokyo. Kobayashi is president of Zenroren, which organized the rally.

Now it's time to fight together, he concluded.