By Fujisaki Mari and Kihara Tamiyuki
Edano Yukio, leader of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ), met with Yoshino Tomoko, the new president of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo), for the first time on Oct. 11 at the National Diet building. Edano and Yoshino confirmed their cooperation in the upcoming general election, and Edano asked for the labor group’s understanding of the CDPJ’s electoral cooperation with the Japanese Communist Party (JCP), which many Rengo members oppose.
At the meeting, Yoshino asked Edano to “carefully control” his party’s relationship with the JCP. Edano responded by saying, “We will make sure that [our cooperation with the JCP] does not negatively affect Rengo at the local level.”
Last month, the CDPJ agreed with the JCP on an administrative framework where limited non-cabinet participation in government by the JCP would be allowed if the opposition parties took over the reins of government in the upcoming Lower House election. During her inaugural press conference on Oct. 7, Yoshino had remarked: “Rengo has been stressing that non-cabinet participation in government by the JCP is out of the question,” adding, “The reality is that the JCP will involve itself in election strategy meetings of Rengo-backed candidates in an attempt to further insert its own policies on the grounds of its agreement with the CDPJ.”
In asking for Rengo’s understanding, Edano explained: “’Limited cooperation from those not part of the cabinet’ is different from what could be called ‘non-cabinet participation in government.’”