The General Federation of Private Railway Workers Unions of Japan (PRU, membership of roughly 110,000 people) decided at an extended central committee meeting on Feb. 1 that it will field its chief Takashi Moriya, 50, on the ticket of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) in the proportional representation section of the Upper House election scheduled for summer next year. The group of labor unions of private railway and bus companies has asked the CDPJ to officially endorse Moriya. The All-Japan Prefectural and Municipal Workers Union (JICHIRO) has also announced its support for the CDPJ in national elections, indicating a growing trend of labor unions whose policies are close to those of the CDPJ and are affiliated with the now-defunct General Council of Trade Unions of Japan (Sohyo) “shifting their support to the CDPJ.”
Moriya (unsuccessfully) ran in the 2016 Upper House election as a proportional representation candidate of the Democratic Party (DP). He was planning to run on the DP ticket again for the next Upper House election. But the PRU leadership proposed at the extended central committee meeting a plan to “shift its support to the CDPJ, which values constitutionalism, democracy, and the pacifist Constitution,” and the plan was approved. CDPJ leader Yukio Edano, who was at the meeting, said, “I feel a strong sense of responsibility. I will take the support seriously and take the necessary steps within the party.”
In the Lower House election in October last year, the PRU backed candidates of the CDPJ and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) as well as DP-registered independent candidates.