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Kibo’s coordination with DP hits bump

The Yomiuri ShimbunKibo no To (Party of Hope) is facing difficulties in coordinating candidates to run in the Oct. 22 House of Representatives election because the Democratic Party is calling on Kibo no To to endorse all its members who initially planned to run on the DP’s ticket but now hope to join the newly established party.

Kibo no To is expected to decide whether to officially endorse the DP members who are hoping to join it based on their policies and political ideals.

In the Diet on Saturday morning, Masaru Wakasa, a Kibo no To member and recently incumbent lower house lawmaker, and Koichiro Genba, acting head of the DP’s election strategy headquarters, held the final round of negotiations on candidate coordination. Wakasa is close to Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, who also leads Kibo no To.

The DP has decided to effectively be absorbed by Kibo no To.

The discussions between Wakasa and Genba were based on a list of about 230 DP members hoping to join Kibo no To that was presented by the DP.

Kibo no To will ask would-be candidates to agree to its key policies such as constitutional revision and a freeze on the planned consumption tax rate hike.

They will be required to sign “an agreement” stipulating these conditions.

Kibo no To initially planned to announce its first list of candidates given official endorsements on Saturday, but coordination between Kibo no To and the DP has so far failed to result in a conclusion. Kibo no To has therefore decided to postpone the announcement until Tuesday or later.

The first list of endorsed candidates will likely comprise about 80 people, including recently incumbent lower house members who have already left the DP and joined Kibo no To, and also first-time candidates.

DP candidates who join Kibo no To will, from now on, likely be included in the second list of endorsements — expected to be announced as early as the middle of this week.

Around noon on Saturday, DP President Seiji Maehara met with Rikio Kozu, president of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) — the largest support organization for the DP — at the party’s headquarters to explain the situation regarding candidate coordination with Kibo no To.

“It sounds strange,” Kozu said after the talks, referring to Kibo no To’s move to screen DP members. “It is most desirable that as many people as possible can join [Kibo no To].”

Koike met with Nippon Ishin no Kai leader and Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui and Aichi Gov. Hideaki Omura on Saturday evening in Osaka to discuss coordination of candidates in electoral constituencies.Speech

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