The top leaders of RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) and Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) held a meeting in Tokyo on November 20. RENGO and Keidanren hold regular meetings to exchange views on the economic situation, improvement of the working environment of working people, and other issues in autumn every year and also at the time of the Spring Labour Offensive for Betterment of the Livelihood of Working People (shunto).
At the meeting this time, both sides agreed in their recognition that the economic situation has worsened and that it was necessary for the government to compile the national budget as soon as possible and to take comprehensive economic measures to improve the situation. RENGO, representing labour, and Keidanren, representing management, shared the same views on the economic situation and the demands they would make to the government and confirmed that labour and management would cooperate in their call for such policies as stability of the foreign exchange rate, an exit from deflation, the promotion of integrated social security and tax system reforms, and acceleration of the government's "Rebirth of Japan" strategy in order to create jobs
On the issue of employment, amid a strong feeling of insecurity toward the future among the public, RENGO urged the management side to issue a strong message that domestic employment would definitely be protected. In response, however, the management side did no more than explain that it was desperately taking various measures in order to protect jobs, such as its call for the maintenance and continuity of nuclear power plants in its energy policy.
Aiming to realize a "secure society built around work as its core," RENGO will tackle the issues still remaining in integrated social security and tax system reforms. Furthermore, RENGO will make the utmost efforts toward the realization of its proposed policies and systems, including recovery and reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake, an exit from deflation and return to a path of sustainable growth, the creation of good-quality employment, and the revival of a solid middle class in Japan, by conveying its ideas to the government and ruling and opposition parties and actively promoting campaigns in the workplace and community.
Integrated social security and tax system reforms
These reforms are aimed at simultaneously covering Japan's growing social security expenses, ensuring stable financial resources for that purpose, and achieving a sound fiscal balance. Based on a hike of the consumption tax rate, the government is tackling in a priority manner (1) measures for child support, childcare support, and youth employment, (2) the reform of medical and care services, (3) the reform of pension systems, (4) measures to address poverty and disparities (a multilayered safety net), and (5) measures for low-income earners.