Japan’s largest labor union group is to reconsider its relationship with its main political ally, the Democratic Party of Japan, by next February, sources said Saturday.
The Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) is to review its policy of support for Japan’s main opposition party as the party’s political strength continues to decline, the sources said
Rengo members have become increasingly skeptical of the union’s policy of backing all DPJ candidates in national elections, the sources said.
It is unlikely that Rengo will transfer support to another political party as there are many former labor-union members in the DPJ. But the group may decide to support DPJ candidates individually, the sources said.
Given that the DPJ itself has a number of internal conflicts regarding its ties with labor unions, the new Rengo policy may affect prospects for unified local elections next April.
Rengo leaders, led by group chairman Kiyoshi Sasamori, decided at recent meetings to review the group’s political policy. Rengo will begin discussing the proposal around the end of this month and try to finalize it by the end of February, according to the sources.
The DPJ’s relations with labor unions are likely to be a major topic at the party’s convention in January.
Discord between the DPJ and Rengo has been intensifying.
During the leadership election campaign, DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama called for the party to be independent of labor unions. After the election, he proposed setting up a special panel to review the party’s relations with Rengo.
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