Short History of the Japan Left (10)

Iwao Kitamura ikita at
Tue Sep 12 22:24:37 MDT 1995

Sorry for the recent duplicated massage of mine.
The rightward tendency of JSP has been not alone. It's been
associated with the rightward tendency of former Sohyo.
The beginning was early '80s. The prime minister Nakasone
began neo-conservative politics learned from Thatcher
in '82. He proposed to privatise state-owned companies
like Nippon telecom, National railroad, Tobacco, etc.
Of course such privatization came with "ratonalization"
that meant mass-firing. The first one was Nippon telecom.
As I wrote before, union leadership of the company had been
already given to the pro-management group. They were opposite
to the privatization plan at first because its management were
opposite. They soon got some fruits and turned to be pro-
privatization. At the time they were isolated among Sohyo
unions. But the situation changed gradually.
The second target of privatization was the National
railroad. National Railroad Union (NRU) was so-called the
strongest union in Japan. There left-wing socialists and
communist party members mostly work together unlike other
Sohyo unions. The union was naturally opposite to the
privatization. The management declared to fire all who were
opposite. NRU fought against it till the end in march 1987.
More than 30,000 retired unwillingly.The membership of the
union decreased from 160,000 to 40,000 in 3 years.
1000 activists of the union were actually fired.
The union help them to continue to fight and still 300 stay
fighting to get back to the workplace. We have learned
much from the struggle.
But the union leaders of other Sohyo unions learned a different
thing. They began turning their nose to right. And they seek to
the unification with Doumei. Then Rengou came out as the unification
of Sohyo and Doumei with membership of 6,000,000. At the same
time, JCP instructed their member union activists to split unions
and formed their own national center named Zenrouren(about 500,000).
NRU was rejected by Rengou and form an independent union group
named Zenroukyo(about 150,000) with other independent unions.
Left wing socialists are devided into Zenrokyo and Rengou.

to be continued...

# In short: This is the example chart of JSP.
Top                             oooooooooooo
Bottom ooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
        <- I stay here

Iwao Kitamura
a member of theoritical study group
Socialist Association (Japan)
E-mail : ikita at
personal web:

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