Tokyo, June 4 (Jiji Press)–Rikio Kozu, president of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, plans to step down when he reaches the end of his current third two-year term in October, it was learned Friday.
Kozu has told people around him that he is going to retire, citing his long tenure as leader of the country’s national trade union center, informed sources said.
If he completes his current term, Kozu will become the longest-serving Rengo president to tie Nobuaki Koga, who was in the post for six years from October 2009 to October 2015.
In 2017, the labor group considered a plan for Kozu to quit as president after a single two-year term and promote then general secretary Naoto Omi, now acting president, to the top post.
But the plan was scrapped after Omi came under fire from member unions over his stance regarding a revision of the labor standards law, and Kozu was reappointed president as a result. Kozu then decided to serve his third term for the stability of the organization.
Kozu’s successor will be decided by a committee comprising representatives from member industrial unions.
Rengo’s current general secretary, Yasunobu Aihara, from the Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers’ Unions, is among candidates for the next president. But the confederation has voiced opposition.
Akihiko Matsuura, vice president of Rengo and head of UA Zensen, a union covering various industries such as textile, chemical and food makers, has also emerged as a candidate.
Kozu, from Nippon Steel Corp. <5401>, became Rengo president in October 2015 after serving in posts including head of the central executive committee of the Japan Federation of Basic Industry Workers’ Unions.