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Friday, 1st May 2009
In General Japan News,

Japanese workers celebrate May Day

Thousands of people have gathered in Tokyo today (May 1st) for the annual May Day celebrations.

Organisers estimate that around 36,000 people have taken part in the events, which saw trade union members converge on Yoyogi Park in the capital, reports the Mainichi Daily News.

Rallies were also held at over 350 places throughout the country.

Sakuji Daikoky, the chairman of the National Confederation of Trade Unions, commented: "May Day is a chance to broaden the fight against poverty and unemployment and to call for better livelihoods and peace."

Recently, it emerged that the Japanese Communist Party has surged to more than 410,000, fuelled by discontent caused by the economic downturn and an increase in unemployment.

Sales of the party's official newspaper Akahata - Japanese for the Red Flag - have risen to around 1.6 million over the last eight months. However, circulation is still short of the peak of 3.5 million seen in 1980.

Written by Mike Cotgreave

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