NAGUMO Speaks! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary
The 180th Ordinary Session of the Diet Closes
10 September 2012
The 180th ordinary session of the Diet closed on September 8, ending the schedule of 229 days including 79 days extended. In the “Divided Diet” where the opposition shares the majority in the Upper House, the last ordinary session had been expected to give priority on the reconstruction and restoration from the Great East Japan Earthquake and the security of the people’s life and, for that end, to get rid of “the politics unable to decide anything” through cooperation of the ruling and opposition parties. Unfortunately, excepting a few major important bills, the priority of the Diet management had been still put on the fierce dispute over political situation, and the deliberation in the Diet often stood still and, at last, the ordinary session came to a close without sufficient discussions about many other important bills which are essential for the life of the people. Out of the bills which the government had presented, 57.5 % of them passed the Diet. It is indeed regrettable that the Diet was not managed to respond to the expectation of the people.
With regard to the important legislation, it can be recognized that a step forward for building a secure society has been advanced with the enactment of the legislation for the comprehensive social security and tax system reforms. It is strongly demanded that, from now on, the ruling and opposition parties tackle together the remaining tasks such as establishment of “the National Council for the Reform of Social Security System” on the basis of the legislation enacted. However, it is quite regrettable that four bills related to the reform of the national public employee system which RENGO demanded to deal together with the provisional exceptional-case bill for the wage reduction of national public employees did not pass the Diet. It is also an unacceptable and extremely grave problem that bills for the reforms of local public employee system including a grant of the right to organize to firefighters which RENGO had strongly demanded has been shelved.
Concerning the legislation for labour related matters, the Worker Dispatching Law, Labour Contract Law Concerning Stabilization of Employment of Older Persons were revised. These bills contained provisions which are helpful for workers to be protected such as employment security and treatment improvement for non-regular workers, obligatory measures for employment security for those who wish to work until the age of 65, and others. Passage of these bills by the last ordinary session is properly appreciated. Unfortunately, a bill to revise the Industrial Safety and Health Law was carried over. It is strongly demanded that the bill be passed in the next Diet session.
It is also properly appreciated that the policies which are important for the life of people has advanced forward even a little bit, through the agreement reached by the three parties, i.e. the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP) and the New Komeito. But it is very regrettable that the Diet members who used to belong to the ruling party of the DPJ left the party one after another over the issue of the raise of consumption tax and, as a result, too many parties and groups have come to stand together disorderly, spurring political instability. It is not understandable that the LDP stood, at the last moment of the Diet session, in favor for the censure resolution which denies the three party agreement itself. Furthermore, the opposition parties which abandoned an exceptional bill for the deficit-financing bonds which, if not passed, greatly influence upon the execution of 2012 national budget, and also scrapped a bill related to the reform of the election system of the members of the House of the Representatives so as to correct differences of the weight of a vote according to constituencies, cannot excuse themselves from the blame to have put too much priority only upon political situation.
RENGO sincerely hopes that, in the next extraordinary session of the Diet expected to be summoned shortly, both ruling and opposition parties will reconstruct a new mechanism for policy determination and how to manage the Diet so as to realize a politics which advances policies forward. Furthermore, RENGO will make efforts for passing the bills which are related to its own major policies in continuous cooperation with the government and the ruling parties in order to realize a “secure society built around work as its core”.