RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) held its 12th Biennial Convention in Tokyo on October 4-5 under the slogan "Let us do all we can for reconstruction and recovery and build a secure society centered on work as its core." Around 2,000 union members from affiliated organizations attended.
At the beginning, the delegates watched a video of the activities of RENGO's relief volunteers, who have made utmost efforts toward restoration and reconstruction in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and offered a silent prayer for those who lost their lives in the disaster.
Next, RENGO President Nobuaki Koga addressed the meeting, saying, "There can be no recovery of Japan without restoration and reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake. RENGO is making the utmost efforts toward the restoration and reconstruction of the disaster area, and we will call on the government to adopt policies leading to peace of mind in daily life and hope for the future. We must realize a secure society centered on work as its core."
In messages from guests at the convention, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said with determination, "Two years have passed since the change of government, but as for the conduct of state affairs, we fell short of RENGO's expectations. In order to realize politics that make people fully aware of the change in government, we will combine forces with Rengo and do our best to bring about Japan's recovery." Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Yoko Komiyama also attended.
From the overseas guests, messages were heard from General Secretary Sharan Burrow of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), General Secretary Noriyuki Suzuki of the ITUC's Asia-Pacific regional organization, and General Secretary John Evans of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In addition, 24 representatives attended from 26 ITUC-affiliated and other organizations.
In the main part of the convention, RENGO General Secretary Hiroyuki Nagumo explained RENGO's draft FY 2012-13 Action Policies proposing, among other things, (1) strengthening and expansion of the organization and strengthening of human resource development; (2) the building of friendly links with nonregular workers; (3) the building of a secure society based on fairness and solidarity; (4) the realization of decent work; (5) gender equality; (6) the strengthening of political activities toward the realization of policies; and (7) the strengthening of international activities. Delegates asked questions about such issues as RENGO's response to the Great East Japan Earthquake, nonregular employment, and the basic labour rights of public-sector employees. After confirmation of the leadership's opinions on these matters, the Action Policies were unanimously approved.
The election of executives also took place at the convention. Both President Koga and General Secretary Nagumo were reelected, and the new Koga leadership got off to a start.