On December 4, 2020, a Worker Cooperative Bill was passed by the House of Councilors (Diet) in Japan.
“We, cooperative workers in Japan, finally got a law of our own! We, Japanese cooperators, have a new law for the first time in 42 years, since 1978! Thank you very much for everyone who have given us a great help to make this historic achievements!”
– Mr. Osamu Nakano, JWCU
This bill passage passed through the advocacy of the Japan Workers’ Co-operative Union (JWCU). The JWCU currently represents worker members from sectors such as elderly care, services for children and parents, care and support for people with disabilities, among many others, representing more than 10,000 worker members and 5,000 non-member workers.
This bill is a big step forward for the Japanese worker co-op movement. Japan previously had no single cooperative law, but instead every sector has its own, which been a challenge for the formation of new cooperatives. We congratulate the Japan Workers’ Co-operative Union as well as the members of the 203rd Diet who worked hard to ensure the passage of this bill.
“Today, we live in the midst of unease and confusion to which no end is in sight, amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. I cannot help but think that the enactment of the Workers’ Cooperatives Act in Japan under such conditions was somehow inevitable. I see the Act as being intended not merely to establish a way of cooperative but to take on the challenge of returning to the essential fundamentals of society: self governance, human rights, and democracy.”
– Mr. Nobuhiro Furumura, Board Chairperson, Japan Workers’ Co-operative Union