A Report on the Activities of APWSL Japan '96-98 @

  The 9th Annual General Meeting in OsakaiOct 3-4, 1998)

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The 9th AGM of APWSL Japan was held on Oct. 3-4. The first session of the AGM was organized as an open forum in which experiences of different groups can be shared. More than 30 people participated (only five women). We had ten reports and two comments/suggestions. An independent auto workers' group talked about their experiences of exchange with Thai Suzuki workers. Yamasaki talked about the experiences of solidarity actions during the dispute at Bridgestone/Firestone and Hotel New Otani in the U.S. and emphasized the new development of the framework of effective solidarity actions. We also heard the experiences of NAW(Network of Asian Workers Kansai), RINK(Rights of Immigrants Network Kansai) , Yonde-Net (Solidarity with Korea Network), Asian Friends, which are all very unique and very important component of workers' solidarity movement in Kansai.

On the next day we had more formal meeting. About 20 people participated (only three women). There were reports on "Summary of the activities during 97/98", "Plan of activities for 98/99", "Finance", "Publications"(newsletters and the Internet home page), and so on.

The plan of activities includes:
 

* active participation during coming Counsel Meeting and nomination of Yamasaki as one of the Convenor.

* continuation of East Asia Exchange Program. We want to propose to have the fourth East Asia Exchange in Macao (if possible) or Taiwan in 1999 or 2000. We want to discuss it with other national groups in the sub-region.

* participation in APPA in Malaysia in November. We join anti-MAI campaign.

* alternative tours. Concrete plans are not fixed at this moment.

* continue discussions on exchange programs.

*corporate with post workers groups in the exchange program with their counterpart of NZ/A next May.

* join the campaign against child labor.

The 9th AGM represented very important development of our movement. A series of exchange programs between APWSL NZ/A and Japan as well as the exchange program between APWSL Thailand and Japan gave us very important lessons, on which we made separate reports to the APWSL Coordinator. Based on these experiences, we began discussion on the principle or "norm" of exchange programs.

It also represented an effort to extend our organizational structure. In these years, we succeeded in extending our organizational strength. Many "new people" came to join our Steering Committee. We had the National Steering Committee in August in Nagoya for the preparation of the AGM. This was the first "effective" NSC meeting. NSC sorted out the dispute among ourselves and the serious situation which developed since the end of last year on the exchange programs.

Setting up of the web page is another development. We will be able to reach out for new audiences in a more dynamic way. It can be accessed at http://www.jca.ax.apc.org/~apwsljp/ At this moment, the contents are rather out-of-date but we will update them soon.

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Our main activities during '96-'98
 

1) Solidarity Actions: We participated in solidarity actions with workers at Bridgestone/Firestone and Hotel New Otani in the U.S, Thai Suzuki , Liverpool (dock workers) and MUA (Australia), Fukoku workers (Korea). We also actively participated in solidarity actions during the general strikes in Korea and people's struggle in Indonesia. These solidarity campaigns have been giving important impetus to the ongoing resistance of workers in Japan against the de-regulation and revision of Labor Standard Law.

2) Four members of APWSL Japan participated the East Asia Exchange Program in Hong Kong in September, 1997.

3) Exchange Programs: Two members of Thai APWSL visited us last May and four workers from NZ/A visited us last August.

4) Alternative Tour: Our delegation visited NZ/A (Aug, 1996), Hong Kong (Dec. 1996), U.S. (Labor Notes Conference in April, 1997).

5) Newsletters: We are publishing "APWSL Japan" (English Edition) four times a year and "LINKS" (Japanese Edition) twice a year. We started publishing monthly four-page newsletter "APWSL Today"(Japanese). APWSL also has a regular two-page column in biweekly "Rodo Joho" ("Labor Information").

[2) and part of 3) was financed by the APWSL. 4), 5) and part of 3) are financed independently by APWSL Japan.]

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Composition of APWSL Japan
 

* set up in 1990 after the APWSL Council in Japan in August 1989.

* membership: 25 trade unions (including local branches) and 75 individual members.

* regular meetings in Tokyo and Osaka once in a month.

* annual budget is about \900,000 ($7,500). Mostly financed by dues from members.

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