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Ozawa sounds out opposition leaders on “unified list of candidates” for Upper House election

  • 2015-06-10 15:00:00
  • , Nikkei
  • Translation

(Nikkei: June 10, 2015 – p. 4)

 

 It has been learned that Ichiro Ozawa, co-leader of the People’s Life Party & Taro Yamamoto and Friends (PLPTYF), has sounded out Japan Innovation Party leader Yorihisa Matsuno and senior members of other opposition parties on creating a “unified list of candidates” for the proportional representative segment of the House of Councillors election in the summer of 2016. Ozawa’s idea is to field joint proportional representation candidates for the Upper House election. Ozawa is aiming to rally opposition parties while retaining existing political parties, considering that it will take time to realign the opposition parties.

 

 Ozawa has met with Matsuno, former Democratic Party of Japan President Seiji Maehara and other opposition leaders in succession since May. During his meetings with them, Ozawa revealed the idea, using documents, saying, “This is the idea that I have long been mulling over.”

 

 The idea of creating a unified list of candidates for the proportional representation election used to emerge in the opposition camp every time a national election was held, but the idea eventually went up in smoke. Ozawa had proposed the idea immediately before the Democratic Party of Japan and the Liberal Party merged in 2003. Some opposition members appreciate it, with a senior DPJ member saying, “A last-ditch idea is needed.” But since proportional representation candidates will have de facto “dual party membership,” it will likely be criticized as “a step for the election.”

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