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No.9 (2009/12/10)
Government-Rengo agree to hold regular meetings

On 16 November, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano and RENGO (JTUC) General Secretary Hiroyuki Nagumo met and reached agreement to hold their regular practical policy consultation meetings on a monthly basis. They also agreed that top meetings would take place between Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Rengo President Nobuaki Koga, representing 6.8 million union members, several times a year, The first such meeting is scheduled to be held in early December 2009. Rengo representatives used to have nonregular meetings with top governmental officials.
At present the National Diet of Japan has 732 members elected from across the nation, of whom 67 members or 9.15%, are directly associated with Rengo affiliated unions. The Democratic Party of Japan, which now holds the reins of government, has more than 310 members in the 480 seat House of Representatives, which represents a large majority in the Lower House.
The new Cabinet is composed of 17 ministers , 7 of whom, according to the daily Yomiuri Shimbun, are from Rengo's close and organizational associates; the minister of education, culture, sports, science and technology ; the minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries; the minister of economy, trade and industry; the minister of the environment; the chief cabinet secretary; the chairman of the National Public Safety Commission and the head of the Government Revitalization Unit . Furthermore, former Rengo top officials have been nominated for high ranking posts in the government including becoming members of the Government Revitalization Unit, the National Public Safety Commission. The government is also reported to be very positive about granting fundamental labor rights to public employees to meet the principles of important ILO Convention No.87 on freedom of association. In fact this welcoming development has been longed for by Japanese public employees for the last several decades.

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