Matsuno attends Rengo rally

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, right, and Japanese Trade Union Confederation Tomoko Yoshino attend the May Day rally in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, on Friday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno attended the Japanese Trade Union Confederation’s annual May Day rally at Yoyogi Park in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, Friday.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party may be hoping to get closer to Rengo in an effort to cut into the opposition’s support base ahead of the upcoming House of Councillors election.

In an address, Matsuno stressed that the government would support Rengo’s focus on higher wages. “The government will take every possible measure to create an atmosphere where companies are willing to raise wages,” he said.

Matsuno said Prime Minister Kishida, who had been invited to the rally but is currently on an overseas trip, was very disappointed that he could not attend.

The Rengo president welcomed the presence of Matsuno at the rally. “It was a great honor to have him here at this labor event,” Yoshino said.

The health, labor and welfare minister usually attends the event every year. This year was the first time a top government official other than the labor minister has participated in the rally since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s attendance in 2014.

LDP Vice President Taro Aso, Secretary General Toshimitsu Motegi and other senior LDP officials have recently held meetings with Yoshino, and the Rengo president also attended a meeting at LDP headquarters.

Ahead of this summer’s upper house election, the LDP aims to secure backing from labor unions linked to Rengo, which is a support base of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Democratic Party for the People.