The Japanese Communist Party has joined other communists and leftists around the world in demanding fair treatment for foreign workers in their country. Japan is a country with relatively very few foreign-born residents, but recently the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been sponsoring legislation in the Diet (parliament) that would allow a limited number of what elsewhere are called “guest workers” into the country, in this case as “trainees”. On October 30, communist members of the Diet met with the Japan Federation of Lawyers to discuss the proposed legislation and reach agreement on a common approach.
The communists agreed with the position taken by attorney Ichikawa Masahi that the government’s bill was unsatisfactory in that it did not guarantee the basic rights of the foreign workers. Among other problems, foreign workers allowed into Japan under the bill will not be allowed, for ten years, to bring in their families. Japanese Communist Party parliamentarian Shiokawa Tetsuya pointed out that the bill does not protect the right of foreign trainees to change jobs when they are in Japan; nor does it do anything about the role of exploitative job brokers.