The contents of a draft assessment report on the House of Councillors election last July compiled by Rengo (Japan Trade Union Confederation) – the main support group of the Democratic Party (DP) – were revealed on Aug. 21. The report indicates opposition to full cooperation or a united front between the DP and the Japanese Communist Party (JCP), a policy embraced by DP President Katsuya Okada and other leaders. With the DP presidential election taking place on Sept. 15, Rengo is applying strong pressure against DP-JCP cooperation in the next House of Representatives election.
The draft report gives Okada some credit for his efforts that led to the four opposition parties’ unified candidates winning in 11 of the 32 single-seat constituencies, terming this “a certain degree of achievement.”
On the other hand, it notes that “(the united front) was not comprehensive,” referring to the fact that the opposition parties cooperated only in the single-seat districts in the last Upper House election. It indicates that cooperation in future elections should also be limited to partial collaboration, asking that the united front with the JCP should not be expanded any further.
The report asserts that “agreement on policy” is necessary for the next Lower House election, which will amount to choosing an administration, arguing against cooperation and forming a united front with the JCP, with which the DP does not agree on policy. The report also emphasizes that there is still work to be done to restore the DP’s power, since DP candidates did not perform well in the proportional representation segment or in the multi-seat districts. Rengo intends to urge that the new DP president to be elected in the upcoming election step up organizational efforts.
Rengo has been an adversary of the JCP historically. It is aiming at influencing the DP presidential election by taking a clear stand against a united front with the JCP in its assessment report. The report will be adopted at a meeting of Rengo’s executive committee on Aug. 25.