Kishida Attends Labor Group Rengo's New Year Party

Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 5 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attended a New Year's party held by the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, in Tokyo on Wednesday, unnerving Rengo-linked opposition lawmakers.

Kishida is the first sitting prime minister of the Liberal Democratic Party who attended a New Year's party of the labor union national center since 2013, when then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe showed up.

Kishida's move appears to be part of the LDP's efforts to drive a wedge between Rengo and parties it supports, namely the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Democratic Party for the People, ahead of this summer's election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of parliament.

"We'll thoroughly implement economic measures to protect people's lives, businesses and jobs," Kishida said in a speech at the party while expressing hopes for drastic pay hikes in this year's "shunto" spring wage negotiations.

"The Upper House election is an important election. We want you to also support the ruling camp to help ensure political stability," he said, asking for Rengo's help.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press