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TOKYO — Japanese base employees protested outside U.S. military installations across Japan and Okinawa on Friday demanding better working conditions.

About 560 labor union member employees conducted the daylong protest. Demands included increasing leave days for child and family care.

“Although labor conditions have improved [for federal employees], no agreements have been reached with the U.S. forces and conditions have not improved for the Japanese workers,” said Kazunori Kawazu, the leader of Tokyo district Zenchuro, the labor union for Japanese base workers.

They are employed by the Japanese government, not U.S. Forces Japan. However, any improvements must be discussed with U.S. Forces Japan, since labor conditions are based on the Master Labor Contract.

“Labor conditions are defined by the Master Labor Contract agreed upon by the U.S. and Japan. If there is any improvement of labor conditions [for workers in Japan], we discuss the matter with the U.S. forces,” a Japan Defense Facilities Administration Agency official said Friday.

The employees are also upset that although they rate 20 days of annual leave each year, a leave balance cannot be carried over to the next year; all 20 days must be used or they’re lost. The employees complained that other Japanese government workers are allowed to carry over leave, up to a maximum of 40 days.

“We respect their rights to exercise their freedom of speech, but it would be inappropriate for USFJ to comment on matters involving the government of Japan and its employees,” said Gunnery Sgt. Bob Hall, a USFJ spokesman.

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