197th extraordinary session of the Diet closed after passing bills,
with the majority force, to revise the Immigration Act, the Water Supply Act
and the Fisheries Act, which constitute key laws connected directly with people’s
life as well as the social structure. Concerning the Immigration Act, the
government was unable to reply correctly to questions of lawmakers during the
debates, as the administration had entrusted relevant ministries to cope with essential
issues through ministerial orders. Thus, democracy in the country stands on the
verge of crisis.
NOT FULLY FINALIZED, BUT BILLS APPROVED WITH MAJORITY
approved rapidly without enough debates
to demands of the business circle, the Abe Government regarded the immigration
law as the most urgent. Concerning the report on missing foreign technical
trainees, government’s statistics were proven false as opposition lawmakers questioned
in the debates; it had explained about the account that out of 2870 disappeared
trainees 22 people had worked with lower salaries than the minimum wage. But, in
fact, the figure of those who fled workplaces was 1927, which occupied 67% of
was also made clear that the organization designated by the government to instruct
and control doubtful, controversial mediating agencies has never been aware of
tricky calculations. An unprepared bill for revision was approved roughly and
supply law opposed by LDP’s local assembly members
bill to amend the Water Supply Act was approved in the House of Representatives
just before the last ordinary session ended. It passed the bill after debating
for only nine hours to rely on the majority, taking advantage of confusions in
the parliamentary management procedures. That has led to a fact time is too
short for people to know about major points of the revisions.
debates in the Upper House were focused upon during the extraordinary session,
but uneasiness commonly shared by people and municipalities was not taken into
consideration. The Diet did not verify experiences in the foreign countries where
water service operations return to public management because of failures coming
provincial assembly of Fukui Prefecture has presented a letter to the government, ‘Proposal
to request prudent debates on the bill to revise the Water Supply Act’, and the
Niigata Prefecture’s assembly has sent ‘Statement
against the bill to revise the Water Supply Act as it promotes privatization’.
They assert that water service does not fit into privatization and that the
revised law may ruin the rights of people who should enjoy safe, cheap and
stable water supply to lead a healthy life.
both of the prefectural assemblies members belonging to the ruling Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) agreed to the position. These LDP assembly people are
courageous in a sense, but that means that ‘the concession method’ that the
bill recommends has multiple risks.
on Fisheries – Disintegration of fishermen’s unions
for the Fisheries Act, revisions were proposed after 70 years of absence. The
new changes directly link with fishermen’s life and their local communities and
endanger daily fishing practices. The government has not listened to voices of
fishermen and their cooperatives/unions or given them sufficient explanations
on the alterations.
current fisheries law stipulates that every fisherman should belong to a
fishermen’s cooperative/union. Thus the organizations, representing all
members, negotiate and manage fishing operations. If a business entity joins fishing
activities, it needs to be a union member. The revised law will allow a company
to be licensed without consent of the unions. It will abolish clauses which
have favored local unions and fishermen. The government’s intention lies in
encouraging business to join aqua-culturing.
a new system will be implemented on the ground to prevent indiscriminate
hunting; a haul of fish is set per fishing boat after expanding the current quota
on catch. In this way a fish catch quota is moving from one boat to another if
its possession is transferred. Fishing people concern about the quotas may
concentrate into lucrative firms to be monopolized.
amendment of the constitution, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and the ruling LDP
attempted to present four proposals to the Constitution Council. Though the intent
was discouraged by struggles of the opposition parties and citizens, the Abe government
is persistent and dangerous. It must withdraw.