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RENGO, DPJ Agree on Election Cooperation and Policy Pledges

President Nobuaki Koga of RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) and Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who also serves as president of the Democratic Party of Japan, on June 17 signed an agreement on policy pledges and strengthened cooperation for the upcoming House of Councillors election, scheduled to be held on Sunday, July 11. The following are the main points of the agreement.

The DPJ will tackle and prioritize a policy agenda for realizing a society of "hope and security" as follows:

(1) Ending deflation and adopting economic measures for job creation and human resource development/training supported by the recovery of consumption

  • [1] Realization of new job creation and stable nominal economic growth through the promotion of a new growth strategy
  • [2] Strengthening of the foundations of small and medium-sized enterprises and local industries, including agriculture, fisheries, and manufacturing, and human resource development

(2) Realization of "decent work" through the establishment of work rules conforming to present-day needs

  • [1] Early enactment of an amended bill on dispatched workers and increased contributions to the Employment Security Fund
  • [2] Enforcement of "Employment Charter" (tentative name)
  • [3] Employment security by extending the retirement age to 65 for all people who so wish
  • [4] Increase of the official minimum wage from a mid-term perspective

(3) Strengthening of social safety net

  • [1] Establishment of a new livelihood security system by promoting positive employment policy as well as social security policy through the realization of additional social safety nets (employment access, livelihood support benefit system)
  • [2] Realization of pension benefits for everyone using tax revenues to fund the basic pension
  • [3] Solution to the shortage of medical doctors and nurses and enforcement of health care coverage for all people, as well as the establishment of a new medical care system for the older aged
  • [4] Strengthening of the sustainability of prevailing medical and nursing care systems
  • [5] Improvement of the working conditions of nursing care workers

(4) Realization of a work-life balance

  • [1] Strengthened institutional activity for realizing a work-life balance
  • [2] Establishment of a child-raising fund (tentative name) to provide comprehensive child-raising support

(5) Other important points in the agreement include "realization of an equal and fair society," "maintenance of safety and security in people's daily lives," "total reform of the tax system and a new roadmap for mid-term fiscal reconstruction," and "promotion of a new public policy."

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