Held a meeting about the liberalization of rice importation and a food control system.
Announced that one of Amway’s detergents was more toxic than other detergents, as result of a toxicity test involving laying sea urchin egg. This was the worst result for Amway.
Demanded Mitsubishi Chemical Co. (MCC) to shut down a factory of Asian Rare Earth Co. (ARE) which was a joint venture of MCC in Malaysia.
Proposed to stop a MMR (a three part of vaccine) vaccination. Consequently, the vaccination rules were modified from a general vaccination to an individual vaccination.
CUJ denounced that the water produced with an “Alkali Ion Water Generator”, a popular health gadget, was nothing but plain water.
CUJ called for a new “Basic Food Law”: As a result of this, Food Action 21, a federation of citizens organizations, started a campaign for establishing a law to assure a safe and sufficient domestic food supply, and to protect Japanese agriculture.
Together with other NGOs and citizens organizations published a newspaper advertising against the opening of the Japanese rice market, allowing rice imports from other countries. Despite strong opposition to such liberalization, the Japanese government announced a partial opening.
CUJ worked on the problem of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).
CUJ started campaigning against genetically manipulated food: Cheese processed with a milk-clotting enzyme, chymosin, which was produced using GM micro-organisms was commercialized as the first authorized GM food in Japan.
Shohisha Report, CUJ’s Japanese newsletter, started running a series of articles on the safety issues related to electromagnetic waves from various sources and electronic appliances.
CUJ announced that a synthetic flavour, allyl isosulphocyanate, which was added to wasabi (Japanese horseradish) and karashi (mustard) in tubes, was found to be carcinogenic.
CUJ called for a boycott on French products as a sign of opposition to the French Government’s decision to resume nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean.
Association to Re-evaluate Returnable Bottles and Stop Usage of PET Bottles, in which CUJ participated, criticized the extended use of PET bottles for small-size mineral water bottles. The association asked the drink industry to use glass bottles instead that are safer and easier to recycle.
Rules for fresh milk labeling changed from production date to “best before” date. CUJ demanded continued indication of production date for fresh milk.
O-157 poisoning outbreak mainly through school lunches, with some 9,500 children becoming ill and 11 deceased in Japan.
Start of NO! GMO Campaign, participating in the international boycott movement against genetically modified organisms and transgenic food. The NO! GMO Campaign sent questionnaires to the Japanese food industry on the usage and labeling of GM products, organized a large symposium on GM food, and started boycott of GM containing food in Japan.
Signature-collecting campaign for restriction of discharge of dioxins.
A Network against ITER and Nuclear Fusion collected over 70,000 signatures opposing the proposed ITER project in Tomakomai, Hokkaido.
CUJ celebrates the 1000th issue of Shohisha Report (Consumer Report), our members magazine.
In response to a call by Taiwanese no-nukes groups, a network of Japanese citizens’ organizations including CUJ called for an international campaign to boycott Hitachi, Toshiba, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industry to stop their nuclear exporting.
NO! GMO Campaign organized an assembly against GMOs acting in concert with the Global Days of Action Against Genetically Engineered Foods, a world-wide anti-GMO action campaign in which 30 countries participated.
CUJ participated the Codex meeting on Food Labelling (CCFL) held in Ottawa, Canada.
The Japanese language version of Theo Colborn’s Our Stolen Future gave strong impacts in Japan, including in Japanese government ministries.
More than 950 local assemblies opposed to genetically modified (GM) foods and submitted written requests to the central government, calling for the labelling of transgenic products. More than two million petition signatures to the Health Minister demanded to ban all GM foods, or at least to make labelling mandatory.
Food Action 21, a federation of Japanese co-ops, producers, and consumer groups for food safety and sustainable agriculture, started a nation-wide campaign to demand National Assembly members to adopt a Charter of Food prepared by citizens. This campaign led to the establishment of the Basic Law on Food, Agriculture and Rural Areas.
The first International Symposium on Endocrine Disruptors was held in Kyoto. The symposium was organised by the newly established Citizens’ Table on Endocrine Disruptors of Japan (CTED Japan). CTED Japan consists of nine NGOs including Consumers Union of Japan and various co-op organizations. There were reports from Asia-Pacific countries, including the Philippines, South Korea, Malaysia, and Australia.
The First Grassroots Gathering on Biodevastation: Genetic Engineering was held in St. Louis, Missouri. Twenty activists from Japanese co-ops, producers, and consumer groups attended.
Consumers Union of Japan and five more groups requested the Ministry of Health and Welfare to ban the use of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) in toys.
Jubilee 2000 Japan was launched with CUJ as one of its executive committee members. Jubilee 2000 is an international movement advocating total debt cancellation for poor countries.
In response to the massive campaign (see April 1998), the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry submitted two alternatives on labelling of GM food, inviting the public to send comments.
The Asian Regional Seminar on Monitoring Transnational Corporations was held in Tokyo. The seminar was organized by People?s Action Network to Monitor Japanese TNCs (TNC Monitor Japan).
CUJ took action against the proposed salt factory project in Laguna San Ignacio in Baja California, Mexico, by Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan’s largest general trading company (sogo shosha). The project was later cancelled.
Movement calling for GM labelling spread all over Japan. So far, some 2300 out of the total 3300 local government assemblies in Japan have requested labelling of GM foods. Two million signatures from the general public requesting the mandatory labelling on GMOs were submitted to the Government. Several co-ops started their own GM labelling systems.
The NO! GMO Food Campaign held a conference “Global Days of Action Against Genetically Engineered Foods” in Tokyo with 500 attendants, inviting Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, a scientist world-renowned for her critical views on genetic engineering, as the key note speaker.
CUJ launched a NO! PVC Campaign appealing to consumers and manufacturers not to buy or produce PVC-based products due to concerns about dioxins and hormone-disrupting chemicals.
CUJ participated a regional seminar on Codex Alimentarius Commission held in Bangkok by CI ROAP and the Thai Government with a view to strengthening the network among consumer groups in Asia and the Pacific region.
CUJ signed an appeal against “undemocratic approval” of a wiretapping bill and led the opposition to a package of anti-crime bills infringing on the free civilian movement.
CUJ participated in actions conducted by tens of thousands of people from NGOs from all over the world against the WTO ministerial conference in Seattle. Together with delegations from developing countries, we blocked the adoption of the mandate for further trade negotiations.