Japanese Prime Minister Kishida attended the annual May Day rally this Saturday, the first time in nine years for a Japanese president, and emphasized his stance of working with RENGO to raise wages.

Prime Minister Kishida said, “I would like to join with all of you here today to build momentum for raising wages, no matter what it takes. It is with this in mind that I have come here today.”

At the May Day rally, which was held for the first time in four years without the restrictions imposed by the new Corona, Prime Minister Kishida noted that this year’s Spring Struggle had resulted in the highest wage increase in 30 years and appealed, “We want to pass on to the next generation a society in which wages increase and children increase.”

This is the first time in nine years that a prime minister has attended a convention since Prime Minister Abe in 2014.

The government has been working to strengthen relations with the labor community, including holding the first “Political-Labor-Membership Conference” in eight years in March this year to exchange views with representatives of the business community and labor unions.

Annual May Day Rally

On the 29th, the first day of the Golden Week before May Day on May 1, the 94th Tsukuba Central May Day Rally (organized by the Executive Committee) was held at the Central Park in front of TX Tsukuba Station.

94th Tsukuba Central May Day Rally

94th Tsukuba Central May Day Rally

215 people from 19 labor unions of research institutes, private enterprises, and municipalities in the southern and western parts of the prefecture gathered and unanimously adopted the May Day Declaration, including “Let’s unite workers to pass on a society of hope to the next generation.”

The Executive Committee organized the event, which included labor unions from research institutes and the Council of Labor Unions of Tsukuba Science City Research Institutes (Gakken Roukyo). The gathering had been cancelled for three consecutive years since 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and this year’s event marked the first successful gathering in four years.

At the rally, Masaharu Kubota, 54, chairman of the Gakken Ronsokyokai and chairperson of the executive committee, touched on the recent situation, including the labor conditions of medical personnel affected by the coronas and the war in Ukraine and said:

“We hope to protect democracy so that each person can express their opinions and have frank discussions, and to have more discussions about peace, the top priority, so that we can reach better answers.”

He called for “deepening exchanges among organizations to help resolve the problems and difficulties of life of each individual and to provide an opportunity to resume communication among friends.”

At the rally, participants also expressed concern about the pressure on defence research, which is bound by secrecy, and about the fact that some research had to be suspended due to soaring energy prices amid annual cuts in operating subsidies to research institutes and universities and the reduction of basic research funding.

The May Day Declaration was then read and adopted, calling for a large wage increase for all workers, improvement of working conditions, employment stability, gender equality, opposition to the restart of the Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant, and expansion of the government’s basic research funds.

On the other hand, the event was held every year in front of Corona with 600 people, but this year, after four years, the number of participants decreased significantly.

Mr Kubota, the executive committee chairperson, said, “After the Corona disaster, the situation in the world has changed considerably. I hope we can make a new beginning for the labor movement through face-to-face meetings and exchanges.”

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