"Fighting 'Restructuring'"

- Matsuzawa Hiroshi, news reporter of the Fuji-Sankei Communications Group -

- Documentary film / Japanese / Produced by Video Press in October, 2003/ 70 minutes


Something is Wrong with This Country

Companies Don't Mind Sacking the Employees

Court Infringes on the Constitution


A Journalist Challenging the Media

Kinoshita Masaaki (Film critic) 

This is a documentary film depicting a person who has challenged the Fuji Sankei Communications Group, the most reactionary one in Japan'scorporate media.

Two years ago, I saw a small group of people who were hoisting a banner saying "Anti-Restructuring Sankei Union" on a street. It was a fresh surprise to me, as I remembered what had been written in a booklet "Sankei Shimbun: Its Inhumanity". The news company was notorious for depriving the workers of their spirit by suppressing their union and making it sweet-hearted. However, even in such a situation, there was a man who established a new union for the rights of the working people. The man was Matsuzawa Hiroshi, a news reporter for the paper. In response to his action, the management unfairly took disciplinary action on him after having relegated him. Matsuzawa has continued fighting against this infringement on human rights for 9 years. 

This work was filmed by Sasaki Yumi and Matsubara Akira, both "Video Press" members who also produced a film describing the struggle of Kokuro (National Railworkers' Union) "Be More Human - Kokuro's 15-Year Struggle". Many Kokuro members were subjected to "restructuring", which virtually means "dismissal" in the process of privatisation of the Japanese National Railways. This was also a surprise for me. This work is about the struggle of only one person while "Be More Human" depicts that of a large group, although both are produced to question the "restructuring" problem.

However, Matsuzawa's struggle does not necessarily go lonely. This work also spotlights his mother, who runs a hardware store and spiritually supports him, and his supporters like Yamaguchi Toshiaki, secretary general of the union who also experienced dismissal from Jiji Press, a news agency; and Ogawa Osamu, who acts as a cardboard robot to hand leaflets to passers-by in front of the Sankei Shinbun Building (he lost his job due to a bankruptcy of the company he was working for). These supporters have fought against absurdity of society. This film also shows that Matsuzawa likes classic music and is kind and smiling anytime. However, the climax of this work comes when such a gentleman proudly expresses himself in front of a luxurious house of Hieda, chairperson of Fuji Television (virtual parent company of Sankei Shimbun), and at its shareholders' meeting. The scene will impress you with his rebellious spirit as a journalist who devotes his life to keep challenging the unjust rule. Here is another film of a struggling worker that you cannot miss.

translated by IWAKAWA Yasuhisa, iyasu@jca.apc.org

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