The Democratic Party (DP) made joint stump speeches with its main support group, Rengo (Japan Trade Union Confederation), in Yuracho, Tokyo, on June 2, where Rengo Chairman Rikio Kozu and DP Secretary General Yukio Edano criticized Abenomics fiercely.
The opposition parties had also challenged the ruling parties on the postponement of the consumption tax increase in the 2014 House of Representatives election, but they were defeated. This time, they feel that they “have a good chance” in the return match, according to a senior DP official, because they have plenty of material to use in attacking Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, such as that he has broken the promise not to postpone the tax hike again that he made in 2014 when he announced the first postponement.
However, Abe has been pressing the DP to come up with alternative policies. If the party fails to draw up viable economic policies in its campaign pledges, it may still end up losing.
The DP signed a policy agreement with Rengo ahead of the joint stump speeches. Key policies include promotion of the conversion of non-regular employees to regular employees and 1,000 yen hourly wages under its strategy of presenting the DP as a party that places priority on ordinary people.
The policy agreement also includes a passage on Rengo giving “full support” to the DP. Since Rengo had indicated in a document on its relationship with the DP drafted in April that it would only “promote cooperation” with the party, the new policy agreement serves to underscore their close relationship. (Slightly abridged)