2017 Lower House Election / LDP nervous over approach to Komeito

The Yomiuri Shimbun At a Saturday meeting of secretaries general from around the nation, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is also president of the Liberal Democratic Party, boasted of his coalition government’s achievements.

“Our LDP-Komeito administration quickly turned around” the stagnant economic situation that existed when they took over the government from the Democratic Party of Japan, he said.

For the LDP, a crack in their coordination with Komeito over the lower house election could be deadly.

This is because Soka Gakkai, the religious group that provides the bulk of Komeito’s support, is said to mobilize as many as 20,000 votes per single-seat constituency, and LDP candidates rely on Komeito votes in most constituencies.

Koike works with Komeito in running the Tokyo administration, and has sent signals indicating she wants to do so as well on the national scene.

So far, Komeito has rejected Koike’s foray into national politics. “We’re committed to maintaining the LDP-Komeito coalition government in national politics,” Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi said.

Yet many in the LDP are still uneasy over how Komeito worked with Koike in July’s metropolitan assembly election. “Is [Komeito] trying to play a double game with LDP and Kibo no To?” one LDP member asked.

Abe has built a good relationship with Ishin’s leader Matsui. The LDP and Ishin have worked together on issues such as integrated resorts that include casinos and managing Diet affairs.

The prime minister reportedly has told people close to him that “the coordination of candidates in electoral constituencies is within the acceptable range.”

However, because Ishin needs to face off against the LDP in the Osaka area, which represents its power base, “they might form a cooperative relationship with Kibo and distance themselves from the LDP to maintain their strength in Osaka,” a senior LDP official said.Speech

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