Nobuaki Koga hinted Thursday that the nation’s biggest organized labor group, which he heads, may curb its cooperation with the Democratic Party of Japan amid the deepening split within the ruling party over the consumption tax hike.
The Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, “currently is a cheering squad for the DPJ but may need to discuss what stance it should take toward the party at some time,” Koga said at a meeting of the Liberal Democratic Party, the main opposition force.
Rengo has intensified its criticism of the DPJ, which was effectively split when former party leader and power broker Ichiro Ozawa and many of his followers voted Tuesday against the tax hike.
A party official said Koga may have been the first Rengo leader ever to make a speech at LDP headquarters.
The LDP, which lost power to the DPJ in 2009, intended to shake the cooperative relationship between the ruling party and Rengo, its biggest support base, by inviting the labor leader to its meeting, sources said.
Some people at the meeting called on Koga to study cooperating with the LDP in elections. In response, Koga said he would deepen cooperation with the LDP in policy fields but stopped short of mentioning cooperation in elections.