Miike(2):Short History of the Japan Left (6)

Iwao Kitamura ikita at st.rim.or.jp
Wed Sep 6 20:43:58 MDT 1995

In 1959, Mitsui proposed more firing of 6,000 workers (all mitsui mines)
again to the union. In the case of Miike, the proposal was nominate firing
of 1,200 'production checkers'.
Naturally, the union rejected the proposal and went into strike.
They began to strike in Feburary 1960.
In March, the management attacked the union by arrangement of the second
union. They began to discriminate members of the first union by all means.
They also hired right-extremists to break the picket line. One of striking
worker Kubo was murdered with a knife by a right-extremist.
On the other hand, broad support for the union spread. The national center
Sohyo organized support demostrations of over million workers. Buraku Kaiho
Doumei (Discriminated Liberation League) showed their solidarity with many
activists' participation to the union's actions.
Socialist Associaion was also by the struggle. It issued daily paper named
"Socialism Daily" for the striking workers. Prof. Sakisaka also took
numbers of students into the struggle. They had a chance to learn from
workers in struggle.
The youth section of JSP was also active in support for the strike.
They gathered many young union activists in the struggle and founded
a mass youth organization named Japan League of Socialist Youth.
In August 1960, The labour comittee showed the union a proposal that was
almost bad as the original proposal of the management. However, the leaders
of the coal miners union (national) accepeted the proposal, although the
Miike local was against.
The nominated workers had to leave the mine. The struggle settled in
The discrimination to the members of the first union bacame more serious.
The union lost its members one by one. But it maintained about 1/4 of all
workers in Miike.

# Buraku is a discriminated region in Japan. The residents there belonged to
# the most under class in the feudal regime of Edo.

to be continued...
Iwao Kitamura
a member of theoritical study group
Socialist Association (Japan)
E-mail : ikita at st.rim.or.jp
personal web: http://www.st.rim.or.jp/~ikita/

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