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Japanese opposition parties are seeking an early split in the House of Commons


Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Diet Building in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

Tokyo (Jiji Press) – Japan’s opposition parties are increasingly pushing Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to dissolve the House of Representatives early for a general election after his ruling Liberal Democratic Party lost all three Lower House by-elections in late April.

Meanwhile, it remains unclear whether opposition parties will be able to work together in the next general election for the all-important lower chamber of the Diet, the country’s parliament. For example, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the leading opposition party, and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) are expected to clash in more than a hundred single-seat constituencies.

At a press conference in Sao Paulo on Saturday to recap his tour of France, Brazil and Paraguay, Kishida reiterated that he is not thinking of dissolving the House of Commons as soon as possible as he focuses on tackling issues that cannot be postponed, such as political issues. reforms and economic measures.

Political reforms in the wake of a high-profile slush fund scandal involving LDP factions are sure to be the biggest topic at the Diet in the second half of the ongoing regular session that begins Tuesday after the end of the country’s Golden Week .

A senior CDP lawmaker criticized the LDP’s proposals on, among other things, a revision of the Political Funds Control Law as insufficient and not worth considering.

At a meeting on April 29 in the city of Osaka, western Japan, CDP leader Kenta Izumi indicated the party’s plan to consider filing a vote of no confidence against the Kishida cabinet, saying that the cabinet “ is not worthy of trust.”

Other opposition parties are also on the offensive against the LDP.

“We are willing to continue fighting the LDP,” said Hirofumi Yoshimura, co-leader of Nippon Ishin.

“We will put pressure on Kishida to dissolve the House of Commons for a general election to seek the voters’ verdict,” Japanese Communist Party director Akira Koike said.

Yuichiro Tamaki, the head of the People’s Democratic Party, takes a similar position.

The opposition apparently wants to take full advantage of the public backlash against the LDP over the scandal in which part of the income from fundraising events of factions within the party was converted into slush funds without being recorded in the political funds reports.

A survey by the CDP in March showed that the party could increase its presence in the House of Commons in the next general election, according to informed sources.

However, attempts by opposition parties to cooperate in the next House of Representatives elections have not yielded any progress.

The CDP’s Izumi has proposed a plan in which opposition parties that have the same views on all issues, such as political reform and tuition-free education, work together. But the overture was not well received.

Nippon Ishin, which has set a goal of becoming the largest opposition party in the next general election, is unlikely to agree with the CDP to coordinate candidates.

Ahead of the April 28 Lower House by-election, Nippon Ishin leader Nobuyuki Baba said: “We will crush the CDP.”

The CDP and Nippon Ishin candidates clashed in two of the three by-elections – one in Tokyo Constituency No. 15 and the other in District No. 3 in southwestern Nagasaki Prefecture – while the LDP failed to win to cast her vote. are candidates in the two races in light of strong headwinds over the political funds scandal. The remaining elections, in constituency number 1 in Shimane Prefecture, western Japan, were essentially a one-on-one battle between the LDP and the CDP. All three elections were won by the CDP.

The JCP supported the CDP in the three by-elections for the House of Representatives. But a senior JCP official said: “We took an exceptional approach (to the by-election).”

The JCP calls on the CDP for a relationship based on the spirit of equality, fairness and mutual respect regarding possible coordination of candidates in more than seventy constituencies where the two parties are expected to contest in the next general elections for the House of Commons.

Moreover, it remains to be seen whether the CDP can get electoral cooperation from the DPFP, while both parties get support from the Japan Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, analysts said.

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