The Japan Institute of Labour (JIL) sponsored the second comparative labor law seminar in Tokyo on March 22-23. In the seminar, fi;ve foreign participants from Asian countries and some 20 Japanese attendants participated in often heated debates of the "Eff;ects of Foreign Laws on Legal Policy Concerning the Rights of Labor Unions-the Case of Asian Nations." professor Kazuo Sugeno of Tokyo University and professor Yasuo Suwa of Hosei University, both senior JIL researchers, as well as Mr. Servais of the Bangkok branch offi;ce of the International Labor Organization (ILO), coordinated the four session seminar. In the fi;rst session which featured discussions of "Rights of Labor Unions in Asia-History and Framework", the participants overviewed the history and framework of legal systems for the rights of labor unions in the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Tahiland and Japan in this order.
Session two featured discussions of "Freedom of Association." In this session, the participants discussed from a comparative viewpoint whether workers can organize a labor union freely or whether the government intervenes to some extent in the establishment of a trade union, through such mechanisms as the registration system. The discussion thus lay bare the fact that four countries, excluding Japan, have adopted a trade union registration system, though characteristics diff;er, in order to eff;ectively screen potential unions. Behind this, it was pointed out, lies the government's intentions of trying to keep the labor movement under control in order to promote economic development through foreign investment.
The third session focused on the "Degree of Free Bargaining in Asian Nations." This session aroused attention in that despite the fact that both Japan and the Philippines advocate free bargaining, the former adopts the multiple trade union system while the latter adopts the American system of exclusive negotiation representatives. It was also revealed that South Korea and Taiwan have a bargaining law strongly colored by the Japanese example.
The fourth session featured "Industrial Relations in Asia and the Eff;ects of Foreign Laws-Toward Future Years". Participants tried to agree upon "Asian characteristics" of labor union laws based on the preceding discussions.
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