Rikio Kozu, who leads the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, separately met with the leaders of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) and the Democratic Party for the People (DPFP) in Tokyo on Dec. 18. He asked the leaders to carefully discuss their merger plan because among labor unions affiliated with Rengo, industrial unions, which are closely connected to private companies and back the DPFP, strongly oppose the DPFP’s merger with the CDPJ, leaving open the possibility that Rengo might be divided.
Kozu first met with CDPJ leader Yukio Edano and then DPFP chief Yuichiro Tamaki. Kozu expressed understanding for the merger plan, saying: “Rengo believes that a political system with two large parties is the ideal, so in the end a merger is desirable.” But he added: “The merger should not result in disunity in the new party. It’s extremely important for the two parties to carefully proceed with discussions by respecting each other’s position.” (Abridged)