The Japanese Trade Union Confederation — better known as Rengo — has a long history of backing opposition parties. So in April, as the country began to prepare for the summer Upper House election, it came as a shock to many observers when the head of Rengo, Tomoko Yoshino, attended a meeting with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to discuss labor issues.

The meeting added fuel to a fire that started in January, when Rengo leaders said the organization would not specify which political party or parties it would back in the election, even though two of the main opposition parties, the Constitutional Democratic Party and the Democratic Party for the People, are heavily reliant on votes from Rengo’s membership. Rengo has also said it will not back any candidates affiliated with the Japanese Communist Party.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.