History

1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s

1980


June

CUJ invited Anwar Fazal, the President of the International Organization of Consumers Unions (IOCU), now known as Consumers International (CI), for the 10th anniversary of the foundation of its newsletter, Shohisha Report (Consumers Report).

1981


August

CUJ started a campaign against long-life milk, sterilized at ultra-high temperature (130-150 C), promoted by the major dairy companies who wanted to compress the distribution cost. Faced with consumer concern, the dairy industry shelved the promotion, while pasteurized milk, sterilized at low temperature (63-65 C), began to spread.

October

CUJ launched a campaign against chemically treated cultured fish, including yellow-tail fish cultured in water and fed with feed with added antibiotics.

November

CUJ and other citizens groups succeeded in making the then Ministry of Education abandon a plan to introduce a nationally uniform school-lunch menu. The MoE had a plan to serve curry and rice in all elementary and junior high schools throughout Japan as a main event during what they named School Lunch Commemoration Week.

1982


April

CUJ called for No to Liberalization of Agricultural Products, Yes to Complete Grain Self-sufficiency.

May

CUJ and anti-pesticide groups started a campaign for banning CNP, Chlornitrofen (2,4,6-trichlorophenyl p-nitrophenyl ether) which had been widely used as a herbicide for rice paddy fields in Japan. Dioxins were detected in one of the commercially produced CNP herbicide, MO. As a result of the campaign, its production and use were banned in 1994.

1983


March

CUJ accused as “wicked” the marketing and advertisement of infant powdered milk: CUJ demanded makers of powdered milk to stop forcing of their products on Japanese young mothers, which violated WHO’s code and obstructed breast feeding.

April

The IOCU Seminar was held in Ranzan, north of Tokyo.

August

CUJ opposed usage of aspartame, an artificial low-calorie sweetener co-developed by Ajinomoto, and suspected of having various harmful effects including brain nerve system troubles, carcinogenicity. Aspartame and 10 other new food additives were approved by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

December

CUJ jointly conducted a campaign calling for a ban on “My Ruler”, a harmful contraceptive pill.

1985


July

CUJ organized a public meeting of rice producers and consumers to discuss how to protect Japanese rice from US pressure to liberalize Japan’s rice market, and to restore Japan’s food self-sufficiency.

1986


April

The Chernobyl nuclear disaster. CUJ demanded Japanese Government to stop all the nuclear reactors in Japan to conduct thorough checkups.

September

CUJ questioned the relevancy of mandatory mass flu vaccination, pointing out that there was no proof of its efficacy, while several cases of severe side-effects were reported.

1987


January

CUJ disclosed rapid increase of consumers deceived by fraud involving fortune-telling claims and expensive remedies. The Japanese branch of International Federation for Victory Over Communism (created by the Rev. Moon), which was behind the fraud, attacked CUJ in its publications and leaflets.

May

One year after the Chernobyl disaster, CUJ questioned 90 food importing companies to inform the public how they controlled whether their food was contaminated by radioactive materials or not, and to disclose how they dealt with the polluted food.

July

CUJ negotiated with the Ministry of Health and Welfare to stop the use of plastic plates and bowls containing melamine resin for school lunches. Such tableware was increasingly used across Japan, but contained formaldehyde. In spite of widespread anxiety among parents, the use continues even today.

1988


April

Some 20,000 citizens gathered from all over Japan to participate in an action rally against nuclear power in Hibiya Park, central Tokyo.

August

A Liaison Council was formed to tackle the problems caused by golf course development. CUJ raised the debate at its General Assembly.

December

CUJ sent three members as observers to the UN Conference on Acceptance, Management and Trade of Irradiated Food held in Geneva.

1989


March

CUJ issued a statement against the introduction of consumption tax.

August

CUJ arranged the first Asian Pacific Consumers’ Conference in Omiya, with representatives from Australia, Bangladesh, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, Philippines, as well as the IOCU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. The theme of the conference was “Creating Our Future Now.” Thanks to Urano Hisako and her team of volunteer translators, the international event was a huge success.

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