• Kyodo


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged Saturday to do his utmost toward continued economic growth and to spread the benefits among the wider population.

Addressing a May Day gathering of some 40,000 participants in central Tokyo, Abe said he is aiming for a sustained recovery that people will actually benefit from as the economy “stays on course to exit deflation.”

He is the first prime minister from the Liberal Democratic Party since 2001 to attend the May Day event hosted by the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo).

But Rengo chief Nobuaki Koga criticized Abe for labor reforms sought by his government.

Changes in labor-related policies under Abe’s growth strategies are not improving working conditions, Koga said, referring to the prime minister’s relaxation of regulations on contract workers and plan to promote a merit-based pay system.

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