Rengo to cooperate with CDP, DPFP toward Upper House election

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, decided Thursday its basic stance toward the House of Councillors election this summer clarifying cooperation with the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Democratic Party for the People.

The umbrella organization of labor unions in Japan said it will “continue to work with” the two key opposition parties “to achieve policy goals.”

Meanwhile, Rengo did not single out parties it will back in the election for the upper chamber of Japan’s parliament, stressing that it will decide candidates to back on an individual basis.

But it ruled out the possibility of supporting candidates of the Japanese Communist Party and other parties with big basic policy differences.

In the House of Representatives election in October last year, Rengo adopted the stance of supporting the CDP as a party and DPFP candidates individually, and concluded policy pacts with the two parties.

The CDP and JCP unified candidate in many single-seat constituencies in the Lower House election based on their cooperation agreement.

“It’s desirable to ink a three-way policy accord (with the CDP and DPFP)” in the upcoming election, Rengo President Tomoko Yoshino told a press conference. “We will consider it while watching carefully how the two parties move.”

Among Rengo members, unions for government workers back the CDP while private-sector labor unions chiefly support the DPFP.

Public-sector unions urged the Rengo leadership to express its support for the CDP, but the leadership declined to do so for fear of backlash from private-sector unions and their refusal to cooperate in campaigning.

Rengo plans to put a total of nine people from its organs on the two parties’ lists of candidates to run under the proportional representation system.

“We will make efforts to make all of them win,” it said in the basic election policy.

Meanwhile, Rengo-hailed lawmakers of the CDP and DPFP launched a meeting Thursday to confirm their interparty solidarity in the run-up to the election.

“We are eager to unite our forces for the victory of our friends and the advancement of the Rengo movement,” said Shoji Nanba, CDP parliamentary affairs chief for the Upper House and founder of the meeting.