Unionists across Japan on February 10 and 11 took part in actions with the aim of putting pressure on large companies to increase wages to help in the recovery of Japan’s economy.

In Tokyo on February 10, members of the People’s Spring Struggle Joint Committee’s unions, including participants affiliated with the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), staged a day of action.

During the lunch break, about 7,000 workers participated in a rally held at Hibiya Amphitheater under the slogan, “Eradicate poverty! Provide job opportunities! Protect employment and livelihoods!”

In a show of support of labor unions’ demands for economic recovery led by domestic demand and opposition to Japan’s entry into Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade pact, small- and medium-sized company owners, farmers, and citizens also joined the rally.

After the rally, holding placards and banners, reading, “Say ‘No’ to Japan’s participation in the TPP!”, “No consumption tax hike!”, and “Raise the minimum hourly wage to 1,000 yen!”, the participants marched in demonstration through one of Tokyo’s most famous shopping districts, the Ginza.

Earlier in the day, the unionists assembled in front of the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) building to call on the business circles to increase wages for stimulating Japan’s economy.

On the following day, in Aichi Prefecture, about 1,000 workers braving the snow converged on a park near the Toyota Motor’s head office to hold a rally to urge Toyota to share its excessive profits with the workers and local communisties.

Participant Kawamoto Takashi, a plaintiff in a lawsuit against Panasonic seeking a full-time position, said, “Large corporations should contribute to the development of Japanese economy and not just hoard their excess profits.”