Multinational Monitor

MAR 1997
Vol. 18 No. 3


We'll Close! Plant Closings, Plant-Closing Threats, Union Organizing and NAFTA
by Kate Bronfenbrenner

Democracy on Trial: South Korean Workers Resist Labor Law Deform
by C. Jay Ou

A Referendum on Union Democracy: Teamsters Vote to Stay the Democratic Course
by Martha Gruelle

Nike Does It To Vietnam
by Jeff Ballinger

Conflict in the Strawberry Fields
by Cece Modupé Fadopé


The Bhopal Legacy
an interview with
Dr. Rosalie Bertell



Behind the Lines

Class War in the USA

The Front
Indian Labor Activist
Shot - Toxic Deception

The Lawrence Summers Memorial Award

Their Masters' Voice

Names In the News


Letters to the Editor

Daishowa: truly the worst

Thank you for focusing international attention on Daishowa Corporation by placing it on the 1996 Ten Worst list. Here's more dirt on Daishowa: Harris-Daishowa Pty. Ltd. (owned by Daishowa and Itochu) exports 850,000 tons of woodchips annually from the Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales (NSW), much of it from public forests. Harris-Daishowa has caused the logging of thousands of hectares of old growth and wilderness forests in Southeast NSW and in East Gippsland, Victoria. Harris-Daishowa's logging in Australian National Estate forests aroused massive protests in 1989, with over 700 people arrested. Demonstrations in Canberra and Sydney attracted up to 8,000 people. In East Gippsland, woodchipping by Harris-Daishowa has led to a 40 percent increase in logging in the region, while jobs have declined by 40 percent.

In Canada, Daishowa-owned High Level Forest Products clearcut logged in Alberta's Wood Buffalo National Park, a designated UN World Heritage Site, until public outcry shut them down. They cut sections up to 5 kilometers wide, down to riversides and streambanks, and did not replant.

Daishowa built the Peace River Bleached Kraft Pulp Mill, located near Peace River, Alberta, in 1990. This mill produces 340,000 metric tons of pulp annually, consuming 1.8 million cubic meters of wood, almost all of which goes directly to Asia, America and Europe without further processing. In 1988, the Alberta provincial government granted Daishowa a 20-year lease on timber rights to an area roughly equal in size to all of Alberta's provincial and national parks. Stumpage fees are among the lowest in the world. For example, in 1989, for a grove of 16 aspen trees 16 meters high, Daishowa would pay $1.40 Canadian. As pulp, this same stand was worth $950 to Daishowa, and as paper, $1300-2000.

The Peace River Mill uses chlorine compounds to bleach wood pulp. This process produces toxic organochlorides such as dioxins and furans, which are spewed into the Peace River, which flows into Lake Athabasca.

John McInnis of Alberta was fired in 1994 from his job with the University of Alberta Environmental Research and Studies Centre after presenting a paper at a Peoples 2001 conference in Japan. His paper focused on forestry development in Canada by Japanese multinationals such as Daishowa. McInnis filed suit against DMI and Al-Pac (controlled by Mitsubishi) after finding direct evidence that DMI and Al-Pac were responsible for getting him fired. Daishowa and Al-Pac countersued.

Please write Daishowa and let them know you are supporting the international boycott of Daishowa. Write to: Daishowa America, 7200 Columbia Center, 701 5th Ave., Seattle WA 98104, Phone: (206) 623-1772 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (206) 623-1772 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or (800) 331-6314 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (800) 331-6314 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, Fax: (206) 452-6576; and Shogo Nakano, President, Daishowa Paper Manufacturing Co. Ltd. Tokyo Head Office, 6-1 Asahi Tokai Building, Otemachi 2-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

- Phil Knight
Native Forest Network
Missoula, Montana

Daishowa's tentacles

Thank you for the December 1996 issue, another great Multinational Monitor! And thanks for granting Daishowa such a prestigious award. People contacting us from around the world agree Daishowa deserves recognition in the Monitor's distinguished list of the corporate worst.

But one factual point: Daishowa "Inc." is only one part of the Daishowa group of companies. Specifying just that particular tentacle of the Daishowa beast can lead to some inaccuracies.

To clarify: Daishowa Paper Manufacturing Co. Ltd (Japan) owns half of Daishowa Marubeni International Ltd., which has owned logging rights in the unceded Lubicon territory since late 1992.

Daishowa (Japan) owns DCCL -- Daishowa Canada Co Ltd. (a "Canadian" subsidiary), which had the logging rights between 1989 and late 1992. Daishowa (Japan) owns DCHL -- Daishowa Canada Holdings Ltd. (also a "Canadian" subsidiary), which owns DFPL -- Daishowa Forest Products Ltd. (another "Canadian" subsidiary), which owns Daishowa Inc., which is suing us [Friends of the Lubicon (FoL)]. That is, Daishowa Marubeni and Daishowa Inc. are on separate branches with Daishowa (Japan) as the parent.

In FoL and Lubicon Nation writings, we often use just the generic Daishowa. Daishowa (Japan) has used the generic Daishowa throughout their annual reports. The court has implied that's fine.

Daishowa Inc., however, uses the confusing Inc. Confusing because if one uses Inc. in an article without knowing the above relationships, one can end up with misleading or inaccurate statements.

Frankly, we were quite unaware of Daishowa Inc. until this lawsuit started. In three-and-a-half years of generating boycott literature, never did we mention Daishowa Inc. In three-and-a-half years of responses to the boycott, we never heard a peep out of Daishowa Inc. It was constantly DCCL and then Daishowa Marubeni which did the talking, in print, on TV, on radio.

Also, it's "Sierra Legal Defence Fund" in Canada which is defending FoL.

- Stephen Kenda

No Disney Vacations

What a thrill to find such a wonderful magazine!! I just read the article in your December issue on the worst companies. I am definitely going to rethink my vacation plans to Disney World and their "Magic Kingdom" -- clearly the magic exists in their ability to play the wizard behind the curtain, hiding their terrible secret (that is, they are just like any typical corporate venture in America -- purely profit driven with little regard for their employees or the effect their plans have on communities surrounding their massive complexes). Kudos for a great article!

- Caroline Schneider



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