JF threatens strike action in May in protest at fuel costs Published: 23 April, 2013
Japanese fisheries under JF, ZENYOREN, National Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Association, are requesting that the Japanese government compensate the industry for reduced income profit caused by high fuel oil costs.
The main reason is the low value of the Japanese Yen currency. JF is planning to stop all fishing operations for one day in May. If it goes ahead some 200,000 boats, all members of JF, could be affected.
The first action is likely to be by the All Japan Squid Jigging Association, which will stop boat operations on 26-27 April. Its fleet numbers around 3,000 boats. Squid jigging boats consume a lot of fuel oil to generate power for squid attraction lamps.
At the same time, JF is requesting that the government give financial support for reduced income. If this is not forthcoming JF will take all boats out on strike in May.
According to the Fishery Agency of Japan, the marine diesel oil (MDO) price was 87 Yen per litre between October and December 2012, but has been at 99 Yen as of 1 April 2013.
MDO fuel costs hit 124 Yen per litre in the summer of 2008. At that time JF took whole the fleet out on strike action, causing fish prices for Katsuo-Skipjack, Samma-Pacific saury fish and Squids to increase by 7-40%, because of stock shortage. The government at the time introduced emergency counter measures amounting to 74.5 billion Yen, including a subsidy to JF fishermen.
The media is reporting the good effects of ABENOMICS [the economic policies advocated by Shinzō Abe, the current Prime Minister of Japan] but we are still in hell, said Mr. Okubo of Katsumoto Fishing Cooperative.