RENGO President Attends MHLW National Conference to Empower Youths

10 June 2005
On May 26th, President Sasamori attended the first "National Conference to Empower Youth" organized by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. The conference "is aimed not only at the youth themselves but also related people from business, labor, local society and the government to work strategically under unified principles in order to raise the will to work as well as to foster and heighten the abilities of the youth." Specifically, the conference will study and formulate basic guidelines (National Declaration) to strengthen the human power of the youth and at the same time examine a national movement to provide information to the people, etc. The conference is chaired by Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) Chairman Okuda and members include Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Otsuji, Senior Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hosaka, and Senior Vice Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Shionoya.

HLW Minister Otsuji opened the meeting by explaining the objectives and goals of the national council. Then, Chair Okuda gave his opinion that industries must also actively take part to employ the young and that it is important that firms prepare to receive young people.

President Sasamori stated his opinion on the issues by saying: the problem of youth employment is an issue that our nation must tackle collectively and it is deeply significant that the government has decided to hold a national conference for youth. I think the position of the national conference should be clearly defined and that people from NPOs who actually work to support youth should be added to the lineup of conference members. Sasamori also touched on a labor-related lecture series underwritten by RENGO for the Japan Women's University, which was a great success, as well as his own guest speech at the high school where Sasamori graduated from, which was favorably received by the young students. Sasamori commented that our activities should take into consideration those things which the young are interested in.

Labour, Health and Welfare Minister Otsuji said that because youth issues can develop into social issues, they need to be worked on together by society as a whole and that he would keep appealing to the people. Otsuji responded to Sasamori’s reference saying that he would think about increasing the frequency of the conferences and the range of conference members.