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68 S. Korean lawmakers petition for acquittal of Japanese labor activistBy Yonhap
Published : May 10, 2023 - 10:32
Dozens of South Korean lawmakers submitted a petition Wednesday asking a Japanese court to acquit a Japanese labor activist charged with violence while campaigning for laid-off South Korean workers, a lawmaker said.
A total of 68 lawmakers, including independent Rep. Youn Mee-hyang, sent the petition to the Saitama District Court, calling for a not-guilty sentence for the 73-year-old activist, Takashi Ozawa, according to Youn's office.
Fifty-seven of the lawmakers are from the main opposition Democratic Party and one from the ruling People Power Party, with the rest from minor opposition parties and independents.
Ozawa was arrested in May 2021 while staging a protest outside the headquarters of the Japanese firm, Sanken Electric Co., in Saitama Prefecture, after the company laid off unionized workers at its subsidiary in South Korea and later closed the business.
Ozawa was reportedly charged with violence and obstruction of business later that month in connection with the protest and a court hearing on his case is scheduled for next week.
In the petition, the South Korean lawmakers said Ozawa's campaign was part of legitimate labor activities staged at the request of the Sanken subsidiary's labor union.
They also called on the court to recognize Ozawa's contributions to the peaceful resolution of the labor dispute between the subsidiary and the union in July last year, saying his activities helped restore the rights of South Korean workers and strengthen the solidarity of international labor activities. (Yonhap)
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