11.15 Central Rally to Realize RENGO Demands
22 November 2004
On November 15, RENGO held its 11.15 Central Rally to Realize RENGO Demands at Hibiya Kokaido Public Hall in Tokyo. RENGO will work to realize its policies and institutional demands under its main slogan for the 2004 fall activities to "confront the Koizumi Administration's structural reform that only increases differentials and to bring about fair, safe workplaces and lifestyles!"
Photo: 1850 attendees gather at the venue. (November 15, Hibiya Kokaido Public Hall)
RENGO President Sasamori gave a speech in which he criticized the Koizumi Cabinet saying "although politics should exist to secure our living standards and lifestyles, this Administration is increasing differentials by making a society where only the socially strong grow stronger and the weak are discarded and (this Administration) continues to postpone radical reform of social security system." He continued saying, "in order to pursue the kind of safe and reliable social security system reform that our citizens demand, both the ruling and the opposition parties must begin holding discussions as soon as possible."In addition, Sasamori emphasized that efforts to scrap fixed-rate, across-the-board tax cuts, the curtailing or shelving of various tax deductions, which result tax increases, should be blocked at all costs." He expressed his determination by saying that "RENGO will fight with its collective might so the people can live safely and happily as soon as possible."
Afterwards, RENGO Assistant General Secretary Kubota reported on RENGO's activities. He raised several topics regarding RENGO's fall activities: "fight against the shelving and/or curtailing of fixed-rate tax cuts," and "opposition against the dispatch of the Self Defense Force to Iraq," in addition to RENGO's "demands for the compilation of a budget that prioritizes employment and localities," "legislation of equal treatment for part-time workers," "fundamental reform of the entire social security system," and the "abolition of unpaid overtime." Kubota said that this rally was a starting point in order to carry forward these activities.
Many Diet members from the Democratic Party of Japan and the Social Democratic Party attended the rally and DPJ Secretary-General Tatsuo Kawabata and SDP Leader Mizuho Fukushima each offered solidarity speeches. After hearing the determination of affiliates and Local RENGOs, the rally adopted the following appeal: "Let's take action to realize our policy demands at each an every workplace and local area."
Attendees wholeheartedly affirmed their solidarity by joining in the cheers to "Fight for solidarity" that were led by President Sasamori.