RENGO Statements and Views
Statement on the Signing of the TPP11 Agreement
09 March 2018
Japanese Trade Union Confederation (RENGO)
Yasunobu AIHARA, General Secretary
- We evaluate the fact that the clauses on labor have been maintained
On March 8, the 11 countries, not including the USA, due to participate in TPP signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP11 Agreement) in Chile. We evaluate the fact that the clauses on labor have been fundamentally maintained since the general agreement of November last year, with agreement being reached on four clauses, including dispute resolution in the chapter on labor that had been the subject of continued consultations.
- The government is required to discharge its responsibility to give full explanations to the people of the country
The text of the agreement having been settled, the government has stated that it will submit a resolution requesting approval of the agreement, along with related bills, to this session of the Diet and seek their early passage. In the Diet, the government, while clarifying not only the content of the agreement but also the details, such as the interpretation of the content, will be required to discharge its responsibility to give full explanations regarding the agreement. This includes, for example, the impacts on the daily lives of the people and on industry as well as thorough and careful explanations on how clauses of concern will be handled.
It will also be necessary for the government to make efforts toward the establishment of a domestic organization to promote and supervise labor standards, which, as provided for in the agreement, are to be set up in each country.
- Continued scrutiny of the handling of clauses of concern
Among JTUC-RENGO’s clauses of concern in the TPP agreement is the fact that no direct regulations regarding the acceptance of so-called “unskilled workers” or the “mutual recognition of qualifications between countries” for doctors, nurses and others are provided. It will be necessary to continue to scrutinize the handling of these issues.
In addition, based on the incorporation of observance of the ILO Core Labour Standards in the agreement, JTUC-RENGO will strongly demand that the government ratify the two yet unratified conventions (Convention No.105: Abolition of Forced Labour and Convention No.111: Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation) at an early date.
- Continued coordination with relevant organizations such as ITUC and GUFs
While coordinating with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Global Union Federations (GUFs) and other related organizations, JTUC-RENGO will continue to demand necessary actions through requests to the government and political parties, consultations, and so on, to ensure that this economic partnership agreement contributes not only to sustainable growth and the creation of employment in Japan but also to just and sustainable development and the realization of decent work in the Asia-Pacific region.