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POLITICS > Elections

Left-wing Rengo unions to support Constitutional Democratic Party in LH election

Labor unions belonging to the defunct Sohyo [General Council of Trade Unions of Japan] under Rengo [Japan Trade Union Confederation] have come out in support of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ).

 

In the current House of Representatives election, Rengo is divided between the left-wing Jichiro [All Japan Prefectural and Municipal Workers’ Union], formerly a Sohyo member union, which is supporting the CDPJ that broke away from the Democratic Party (DP), and the right-wing UA Zensen [Japanese Federation of Textile, Chemical, Food, Commercial, Service and General Workers’ Union] once affiliated with the defunct Domei [Japanese Confederation of Labor], which is supporting the Kibo no To [Party of Hope].

 

As a result, the Party of Hope is losing momentum while the CDPJ is gaining force. The two Rengo factions continue to give support to candidates whom they can influence, with an eye on the power struggle in Rengo after the election.

 

Due to the DP’s breakup, Rengo has decided to support independents and candidates of the Party of Hope and the CDPJ on an individual basis. Most former Sohyo unions have decided to support anti-constitutional revision CDPJ and are strengthening cooperation with this party, holding election strategy meetings with it behind the scenes.

 

Recent opinion polls conducted by the newspapers show that the CDPJ is likely to win twice the 16 seats it held before the start of official campaign. A senior labor union official says: “It is now possible to win even 40 seats. The Jichiro will have a stronger voice in Rengo after the election.”

 

However, the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) has withdrawn its candidates in constituencies where there are CDPJ candidates. If the two parties cooperate more closely after the election, Rengo, whose basic policy is to eliminate the JCP’s influence, will not be able to support the CDPJ unconditionally. Conflict may arise between the two factions. (Slightly abridged)

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