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Senior officials of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) on Sept. 11 unofficially selected Etsuya Washio, currently general secretary of the nation’s largest umbrella labor organization, to be its new chairman.

The decision was reached during a meeting at Rengo’s headquarters to find a candidate to replace the outgoing Jinnosuke Ashida as leader of the body that represents 8 million workers.

Washio, 58, is also head of the National Federation of Steel Workers Union. Senior officials also decided to recommend that Tsuneo Enomoto, head of the All Japan Prefectural and Municipal Workers’ Union, be new deputy Rengo chairman and Kiyoshi Sasamori, former chief of the Federation of Electric Workers’ Unions of Japan, be new secretary general.

As a result of the decision, Teruhito Tokumoto, a Rengo vice president and chief of the Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers’ Unions, is expected to drop his candidacy for the Rengo leadership.

Rengo is expected to formally approve the personnel changes at its semiannual assembly to be held Oct. 2 and 3.

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