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The heads of the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) and the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) agreed Thursday that management and labor need to cooperate in areas such as pensions and medical care, Rengo officials said.

The agreement came in a meeting between Keidanren Chairman Hiroshi Okuda and Rengo President Kiyoshi Sasamori, their first get-together since Nippon Keidanren was formed in May. The two leaders are expected to meet three times a year, the officials said.

Okuda urged Sasamori to work with him in areas other than solely wages.

“Rather than confronting each other, management and labor should cooperate in a wide rage of areas, such as social security,” Okuda was quoted as saying.

Agreeing with Okuda, Sasamori reportedly said “management and labor should join forces in urging the government to change policies.” He specifically urged cooperation in pushing for economic stimulus measures.

Sasamori specifically referred to the need for additional economic stimulus measures, including an early compilation of an extra budget for fiscal 2002 and support for small and medium-size companies, the officials said.

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