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Issue #1723      March 16, 2016

Region Briefs

Japanese high school students are opposed to the Education Ministry’s restriction of forbidding students to join political activities without approval from their schools. A group of high school student representatives with Japanese Communist Party parliament member Ohira Yoshinobu recently went to the ministry and urged it to withdraw the restriction. The restriction planned to take down opposition of the Abe government by blocking school youth becoming politically active. One student said that teachers stopped her when she brought up a political issue in a classroom because of the restriction, and she worried that students would become apolitical, not willing to join demonstrations and other political activities.

A number of Japanese activists went on a rally recently in Tokyo, protesting against the Abe government’s signing of the Japan-India nuclear energy agreement. The agreement would allow Japan to export nuclear power generation technologies to India, while India was not a member of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), meaning the country could skip any form of inspection from the international community. India was under sanctions after testing its nuclear weapons in 1998, however, the US and its allies have supported since 2008, lifting the sanctions for the purpose of containing China and Pakistan’s growth.

Hundreds of Pakistani female workers went on a rally organised by the Home-based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF) and the National Trade Union Federation on International Women’s Day, commemorating working women’s struggle and demanding equal rights and better working conditions, especially for the home-based Pakistani female workers. The HBWWF general secretary said that “society would not progress until the rights of women were accepted and they are considered as equal citizens”. There are 16 million home-based female workers in Pakistan, contributing 40 percent of the country’s national economy, yet they were not legally recognised as skilled workers and their minimum wage is not protected.

The 12th Communist Party of Vietnam’s Central Committee’s second meeting opened in Hanoi on March 10, focusing on the working agenda of the socio-economic development plan for 2016-2020 and the nomination of top government positions such as president, prime minister and chair of the National Assembly. The Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong stressed that the priority of the working agenda should focus on key tasks and urgent issues, strengthening the Party, improving the socialist political system, fighting against bureaucracy, corruption and wastefulness, restructuring state-run enterprises, improving human resources, safeguarding national independence and more.

Next article – Culture & Life – The business of forgetting

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