15:00-16:00 Friday, January 17, 2014
Nobuaki Koga, President, Japanese Trade Union Confederation
There can be no economic recovery in Japan without rising wages for workers. That may be what Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his government have started saying lately, but for Rengo and the Japanese trade union movement, it is hardly a novel concept.
Nobuaki Koga stands at the pinnacle of Japan's trade union structure. Last year he was elected to an unprecedented third term as president of Rengo, the dominant and most mainstream of Japan's three national labor union federations. As such, it plays a key role representing the interests of millions of workers.
Moreover, Rengo has been one of the key backers of the Democratic Party of Japan. Koga has repeatedly expressed concern about the direction of the nation's politics since the collapse of the DPJ regime in December 2012. Any attempt to rebuild the political opposition in Japan must take seriously, one way or another, the enduring organizational power of Rengo.
For these reasons and more, Nobuaki Koga's visit to the FCCJ is not to be missed.