Worker Cooperative Legislative Movement in Japan

Although the concept of worker cooperatives is relatively uncommon in Japan, there are more than 30,000 people are already involved.

3 April 2009

By Yoshiko Yamada, JWCU

Japan is one of the few developed countries without a cooperative law which worker cooperatives can use. In order to achieve legal recognition of worker cooperatives, Japanese Workers’ Co-operative Union (JWCU), in collaboration with various organizations and people throughout the world, has been working hard for the approval of a worker cooperative law. For example, the Worker Cooperative Legislation Civic Council was founded in November 2000, and JWCU has been holding a series of citizen forums for the law throughout the nation since 2001.

Moreover, a non-partisan, all-party parliamentary group was founded in February 2008 to promote the legislation. As of January 2009, this group has 164 members.

At a local level, 411 out of 1,800 local assemblies have sent the Diet letters recommending the immediate approval of the law (as of January 20, 2009).
We have high hopes that the Diet will finally approve the law this year.
JWCU appreciates all the support in this legislative movement.

International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and
Service Producers' Cooperatives

Secretariat: C/O European Cooperative House - avenue Milcamps 105
1030 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 543 1033, fax: +32 2 543 1037
E-mail: cicopa[at]

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