What do Japanese trade unions do at the national level? How do they influence national policy making? In this chapter, the political activity of Japanese trade unions will be discussed from the viewpoint of the relationships among unions, political parties and governments. The first aspect to be dealt with will be the political characteristics of Japanese trade unions. Second, the transition of national centres and the relationship between unions and political parties will be traced. Third, the political activity of Rengo, the new national centre, will be described. Finally, the implications of Rengo's political activities in Japanese labour politics will be examined.
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