By, Uwe Paschen.
Shibuya, the heart of the new Japan.
Shibuya is in Tokyo, a district where over the past decade young and different minded Japanese have established them self, for one it is a cheaper area to live in and further it has become the Heart of the Freiters movement that oppose the establishment of conservative Japan.
It may be compared with the movement of May 1968 in Europe, only Japanese stile.
Demanding social justice, equality and the end of feudalistic Capitalism as is practiced today in most industrialised countries.
Shibuya is a very different Japan then the one most know or that may be portrayed abroad and even through out Japan.
Shibuya is the Heart of a new movement called the Freeter or also the Freitar Union.
The freeters are originally the Young Generation of 15 to 35 year olds that are unemployed or part time workers. Yet today they are more and more the Young 20 to 45 years old that are in many cases well educated and yet unemployed or Part time and or free lance worker. Unable to find full time or protected employment with benefits and pension plans due to a new form of Capitalism born with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990.
The Freeters Union has now grown into a new form of Workers uprising demanding Social justice and an end to Capitalistic exploitation.
> Takeo Kinoshita, 62, a professor of social welfare at Showa Women's University in Tokyo, said the creation of unions by nonregular workers across Japan "reminds me of how the labor movement started."
"Youths who have no rights have started to rise up to mount movements aimed at pursuing universal justice, dismissing the behavior of corporations seeking their own interests. The movements are small but have big potential."<<
As long as the Soviet Union was in existence the Capitalistic System in the West kept it self in check and made sure that Workers and Employees were well treated and happy more out of fear of having Communist Movements taking over then out of good will.
However, once the threat of Communism vanished with the fall of the Soviet Union, Capitalism embraces its old doctrines of Feudalism and exploitation of the working force. Having no reason to fear a workers uprising or the influence of Communist Ideas any longer.
This lead to Multi Nationals and Savage Capitalism being reborn a new. Leaving many unemployed and if employed no longer as full time workers, only as part time or contract workers and free lance worker with out protection, nor benefits. Profits grow and take overs as well. Yet, the Work force never saw any of those gains.
Out sourcing, became the norm and exploitation the rule.
Leaving more and more people along the road being unemployed and struggling to make ends meet for food, shelter and Health care. Out of this struggle is born a return to Socialistic Ideals and systems. Japan seems to be leading the way with the Freeters Union, that is demanding nothing less than a revolution and the end of Capitalism as is.
They do sympathise with Socialist and Communist Ideas and support the Communist as well as the Socialist Party. Even though the Old class is still in power and due to the Baby Boom of the 1950 does out number the Younger generation they are persistent and their demands legitimate.
The freeters make up the majority of the youth today even though they are a minority with in the population over all. Due to the declining birth rate and the aging Baby Boomer Generations. They are the generation that will soon take over control of Japan and they certainly do not like Corporate Capitalism nor living from hand to mouth.
Many can hardly make ends meet, even though they hold up to four part time jobs as server, clerk, Teacher, Bank clerk… Having to pay at least 500 EURO in rent for a 20 scare meter flat and making less then 6 EURO per Hour, many cannot afford the Utility bill or the Food bill any longer.
Most do not eat Fish or Meat, nor fruits of vegetable on a regular basis since they are simply too expensive, forcing them to live on Rice most of the time. The Freeters are demanding changes and favour Marxist Ideas over Free markets or Capitalism, for they have to bear the burden of this system and suffer under its injustice.
(The German word Arbeit is commonly used as the Japaneseloanword arubaito for "part-time job".)