Rengo (Japanese Trade Union Confederation), the largest support group for the Democratic Party (DP), has begun coordination to not support the Party of Hope but rather to concentrate its support on prospective DP candidates in the Lower House election. Official campaigning for the election will start on Oct. 10, and voting will take place on Oct. 22. Rengo made the decision due to intensifying backlash within the organization against the Party of Hope, which is screening candidates from the DP based on their principles and policies. Rengo will finalize its policy at an extraordinary meeting of its Central Executive Committee to be held after the Biennial Convention on Oct. 5, where new leadership will be installed.
It is very unusual for Rengo to forgo supporting a specific political party in a national election.
The merger of some elements of the DP with the Party of Hope and DP Deputy President Yukio Edano’s decision to form the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) will allow those who were prospective DP candidates to run either (1) on the Party of Hope’s ticket, (2) on the CDPJ’s ticket, or (3) as an independent.
Rengo has already endorsed some 170 candidates, primarily prospective candidates of the DP. Going forward, Rengo will separately back candidates it has recommended, regardless of their party affiliation.