RENGO Statements and Views

Statement on the Enactment of the Act on the Promotion of a Smooth Transition to a Decarbonized Growth-Oriented Economic Structure (GX Promotion Act)

12 May 2023

1. We Evaluate the GX Promotion Act Extremely Highly for Incorporating a “Just Transition”
On May 12, the Act on the Promotion of a Smooth Transition to a Decarbonized Growth-Oriented Economic Structure (GX Promotion Act) was passed and enacted at a plenary session of the Lower House of the Japanese Diet.
The bill submitted was based on the Basic Policy for the Realization of Green Transformation (GX), approved at a cabinet meeting in February this year. We evaluate extremely highly the efforts of Diet members who ran for office from JTUC-RENGO affiliates and members of the RENGO Forum in both the Upper and Lower Houses in passing an amendment to include a Just Transition, not included at the time of submission of the bill, through a joint proposal of the ruling and opposition parties in the Upper House. These efforts led to the bill’s enactment and to the inclusion of many of JTUC-RENGO’s demands in the supplementary resolutions of both houses.
In the Prime Minister’s “GX Implementation Council,” which will now be responsible for formulating concrete measures and assessing GX progress, JTUC-RENGO will call for, as confirmed in the supplementary resolutions, the early organization of a cross-ministerial system for a deeper examination of issues; the establishment of multilayered safeguards; assessment of and research into the appropriate characteristics of local economies; and the identification of policy issues through a “social dialogue” encompassing concerned stakeholders, including trade unions at the national, local and industrial levels, as well as budgetary measures to realize these.

2. The Participation of Trade Unions in Future Discussions is Assured by the Supplementary Resolutions

Due to questions asked by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Democratic Party for the People members of the Trade and Industry Committees of both the Upper and Lower Houses of the Diet, forward-looking responses on JTUC-RENGO’s matters of concern were drawn from the government side and were reflected in the supplementary resolutions.
In particular, in the preparation of the draft GX Promotion Strategy and the detailed design of the growth-oriented carbon pricing architecture, it became possible to secure the transparency of the formulation process, and the fact that the views of academic experts, knowledgeable individuals, and industrial and economic circles were respected and taken into consideration opened the path for participation of trade unions in future discussions. In addition, effective support measures were also incorporated to ensure that small and medium-sized enterprises, whose delay in responding to GX has been a matter for concern, would not be left behind. These included expanding support programs, constructing more effective support systems, and efforts to promote GX throughout the supply chain through initiatives by large companies.

3. JTUC-RENGO will Continue to Push Forward its Efforts toward the Realization of GX
The realization of GX will result in beneficial contributions to the whole Japanese people, such as qualitative improvements in the daily lives of citizens and economic growth that will result, for example, from reductions in environmental load, a rise in energy self-sufficiency, and a strengthening of industrial competitiveness. It will be necessary for the costs for these efforts to be borne broadly by the whole of society on a fair and equitable basis.
While requesting that the government take active measures to foster understanding by the people and business operators regarding the significance and burdens of GX, JTUC-RENGO itself will participate initiatives such as actions at the global level through solidarity with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), encouragement for dialogue between labor and management to Climate and Employment Proof Our Work, and take actions to reduce peak power demand.

Hideyuki SHIMIZU
General Secretary
Japanese Trade Union Confederation