Foreign workers rally in Shibuya for equal rights


Foreign workers staged a rally in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, on Sunday as part of their annual spring labor offensive, calling for proper and equal treatment on par with Japanese working conditions.

Hundreds of people from various countries gathered in Miyashita Park for the afternoon “March in March” event.

“Employers must begin to treat foreigners as equal as Japanese and give them job security and equality,” said Louis Carlet, deputy general secretary of the National Union of General Workers Tokyo Nambu, which jointly organized the rally with Japanese labor unions.

Before the march, music and sports performances were staged at Miyashita Park, and keynote speeches were given by representatives from various labor unions.

Around 3 p.m., the participants, foreign and Japanese, left the park and began marching down the middle of Meiji Boulevard, chanting demands for improved working conditions and saying “no” to discrimination, including mandatory fingerprinting for foreigners upon entering Japan.

The props for the rally included not only signs and flags, but also a casket to draw attention to the failure of Nova Corp., the giant language-school chain that went bust last year, leaving thousands of teachers jobless.