At the End of the 45th General Election That We Aimed at a Change of Government

31 August 2009
Tsuyoshi TAKAGI
President, JTUC-RENGO
The voting and the counting of the votes of the 45th general election were taken place on August 30,2009, and a change of government which had been a long-held earnest wish of us has been realized.

As is recalled, it was on September 11 four years ago, when we suffered a crushing defeat in the last general election which was called “ Postal Services Election”. Since then, under the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and New Komeito coalition government of four successive premierships of Koizumi, Abe, Fukuda and Aso, although we could win by staging a reversal of the ruling and opposition parties in the election of the House of Councilors two years ago, we spent the four years in hardship under the high-handed handling of the reign of the LDP-New Komeito coalition government, as seen in the repeated re-votes taking advantage of more than two third majority in the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, expansion of various disparities, aggravation of employment situation, deterioration of the function of social safety nets and other factors have caused the nation’s insecurity and distrust and led to a strong current to desire the leaving of the LDP-New Komeito coalition.

In this current, three parties, namely the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and People’s New Party (PNP) appealed for a change of government and made the election campaign appealing for a change to the policy of “People’s Lives First” as the basic policy and RENGO itself developed an earnest campaign with the catchword of “the Summer of the Shift in Power”. As the result, the strong aspiration held by our predecessors at the time of the foundation of RENGO to build up a political structure which enables a change of government has thus been realized. From the bottom of our heart, we would like to savor its significance.
Accepting the victory of the general election in a modest manner, and without forgetting the political starting point of “the politics of the people, by the people and for the people”, it will be foremost the largest responsibility of the DPJ-led government to steadily realize the contents of the political manifesto as promised to the people.

RENGO itself, without being puffed up with this victory, and on the basis of our basic stance of its policy, has to take its responsibility to have been deeply involved in the change of government.

During the past years, RENGO fought the last election of the House of Councillors and again the election of the House of Representatives this time building up energetic campaigns for “Stop the Society of Disparities”. Always reminding us of our original intentions, it is necessary to respond to the DPJ-led government from the viewpoint of the people with moderation.

At the very moment, the employment situation of Japan is the worst in post-war period and it is an urgent issue to seek for spread of decent work and work-life balance. It is the security of employment which is the biggest subject of social stability and safety. Also, a steady economic recovery must also be promoted.

Furthermore, there were some single-seat constituencies that did not become intended results in spite of our strenuous efforts, but our union members’ fights should be highly appreciated. We earnestly hope to challenge there once again at the next general election.