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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 November 22 - 28  > Government workers’ union holds symposium on PM Abe’s misuse of power
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2017 November 22 - 28 [LABOR]

Government workers’ union holds symposium on PM Abe’s misuse of power

November 24, 2107

The Japan Federation of National Public Service Employees’ Unions (Kokko-roren) on November 22 held a symposium to discuss ways to bring down the Abe government which wounded government workers’ pride in their constitutional roles as “servants of the whole community”, with union members and citizens participating.

Kokko-roren Chair Okabe Kan’ichi delivered the opening speech and criticized the Abe government for intending to draw the curtain on the “Kake” and “Moritomo” issues. In the “Moritomo” case, Okabe pointed out that PM Abe’s wife Akie used government ministry officials as her personal assistants. He said, “The series of scandals involving Prime Minister Abe are a serious matter as they threatened proper government functions and prevented public servants from doing what they are mandated to do.”

On the sidelines of the symposium, Kokko-roren, which is affiliated with the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), announced proposals for the creation of a fair and democratic civil servant system. The focus of the proposals includes the abolition of the Cabinet Office’s position of dominance in personnel affairs, the restoration of government employees’ basic labor rights, and the ensuring of fairness, impartiality, and transparency in personnel management.

In the symposium, panelist Sophia University Professor Nakano Koichi, Senshu University Professor Haruyama Kazuo, and Kokko-roren Secretary General Kamata Hajime exchanged views on the Kokko-roren proposals.

Nakano stressed that the need for Kokko-roren is to work hard to put an end to the Abe government in order to reach the union’s targets. Haruyama said, “As defined in the Constitution, public workers are required to work for ‘the whole community’ not for ‘any group thereof’. The creation of a work environment which contains an atmosphere of openness is important.”

An interview with former Education Ministry bureaucrat Maekaea Kihei, who leaked the existence of documents indicating PM Abe’s involvement in the “Kake” scandal, appeared on the video screen.

In the interview, Maekawa pointed out that in the “Kake” scandal, government workers were used as servants of a specific group, not in the interests of the whole community.

Past related articles:
> Ex-Education Ministry bureaucrat: PM Abe’s aide exerts pressure to open veterinary school [May 31, 2017]
> Abe’s wife not in the Diet but on Facebook page argues against criticism of her involvement in ‘Moritomo’ scandal [April 12, 2017]
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