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2017 Lower House election / Edano’s liberal party officially launched

The Yomiuri ShimbunThe new party formed by Yukio Edano of the Democratic Party submitted a notice of establishment to the internal affairs minister on Tuesday morning.

The notification for the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan was submitted through the election board in Tokyo by former Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Akira Nagatsuma and accepted on the same day.

Edano, a former chief Cabinet secretary, announced on Monday the formation of the CDPJ with the DP’s leftist and liberal-minded members.

Nagatsuma told reporters the CDPJ’s founding members were six House of Representatives members who lost their seats in the recent dissolution.

Edano and Nagatsuma expressed opposition to joining Kibo no To (Party of Hope) led by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike.

Also, former Prime Minister Naoto Kan, former lower house Vice Speaker Hirotaka Akamatsu, Tomoko Abe and Akihiro Hatsushika have indicated their intention to join Edano’s new party.

Kiyomi Tsujimoto, who also lost her lower house seat, announced she will join the CDPJ at a press conference held in Osaka Prefecture on Tuesday morning.

Edano will speak with all the DP lower house members who were unseated in the recent dissolution and will not join Koike’s party, and recommend they take part in his party. He hopes to endorse candidates in every bloc to be contested under the proportional representation system.

“It might be an option to let oneself go with the flow, but I’ll stick to my faith,” Edano said during a street speech in Saitama on Tuesday morning.

“I cannot bend or compromise the ideals and policies I have pursued,” he added.

Meanwhile, Masaru Wakasa, a Kibo member who lost his lower house seat in the dissolution, and Koichiro Genba, acting head of the DP’s general election strategy headquarters, met for talks at the Diet Building on Tuesday morning to make the final adjustments for the lower house election ahead of announcing the first batch of Kibo candidates.

Koike aims to field more candidates than the 233 — majority in the lower house.

Former Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of the DP and former DP President Katsuya Okada have expressed their intention to run in the upcoming election as independent candidates without joining Kibo.

Rengo won’t back Kibo

The Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) — the DP’s largest support organization — held a meeting on Tuesday in which officials in charge of political affairs discussed how to deal with matters related to the lower house election.

Rengo is currently preparing its position in the upcoming election that it will not support Kibo, and instead individually back candidates originally from the DP.

It is extremely rare for Rengo to decide not to support a specific political party in a national election.

This is because more Rengo officials have recently expressed opposition to the way Kibo is screening its would-be members from the DP based on their ideals and policies.

At Thursday’s regular meeting in which Rengo’s new leadership will be established, they plan to decide the organization’s policy along these lines.

The Japanese Communist Party held a plenary meeting of its Central Committee at its headquarters on Tuesday afternoon to confirm election cooperation among the opposition parties to fight against the ruling bloc.

Edano promoted DP-JCP election cooperation when he was the DP’s secretary general. Under such circumstances, the JCP aims to jointly field a candidate with the CDPJ.Speech

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