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Rengo labor group keeping distance from realignment of opposition parties

Rengo (Japan Trade Union Confederation), which has supported the Democratic Party (DP) so far, released on Nov. 19 a draft of its assessment report on the recent House of Representatives election. It concluded that “it was not able to fully wield its organizational power” in a campaign where the DP split into the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) and the Party of Hope. For its course of action from now on, it opts to “keep a distance from the changing alliances of political parties and consider a new framework of prioritizing relationships with individual Diet members.” Rengo thus indicated its position of keeping a certain distance from the regrouping of the splinter parties with the DP and the realignment of opposition parties.


On the other hand, the report cited the proportional representation segment in the House of Councillors election in 2019 and pointed out the necessity for the opposition parties to cooperate, stating: “It is very important for worker-centered political forces to form a big bloc.” Rengo did not support any specific political parties in the last Lower House election but provided support to individual candidates it had decided to support [before the DP split up].


The draft assessment showed a certain extent of understanding regarding DP President Seiji Maehara’s decision to merge with the Party of Hope before the election, noting that, “If the DP had gone into the general election without doing anything, the DP would have ceased to become an option for the voters and would have been relegated to oblivion.”


On the other hand, Rengo criticized Party of Hope former leader Yuriko Koike’s (Tokyo governor) “rejection” of some DP members wanting to join her party, pointing out, “This was problematic in terms of governance, since it narrowed the scope of designating official candidates and policy coordination unnecessarily.”


It also took issue with the Party of Hope’s “failure to clarify its collaboration with Nippon Ishin [Japan Innovation Party],” while saying, “The CDPJ’s relationship with the Japanese Communist Party needs to be watched.” The assessment report is scheduled to be adopted officially in December.

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