In regard to the possibility of a coalition between his party and the Japanese Communist Party (JCP), Katsuya Okada, who heads the largest opposition party Democratic Party (DP), told reporters on June 20 in Narashino City, Chiba Prefecture: “It is not that there will be never be a coalition between the two parties.” He hinted at the possibility of his party forming a coalition with the JCP in the future.
After saying, “At present, we have no intention at all (to form an alliance),” Okada added: “I think they may change their view. The situation may change.” Okada apparently was mindful of the possibility of the JCP’s changing its platform calling for scrapping the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and dissolving the Self-Defense Forces (SDF).
In an Internet program on June 19 as well, Okada denied the possibility of forming a coalition with the JCP, saying, “We won’t be able to form a government jointly with (the JCP) at present.”
Meanwhile, JCP Chairman Kazuo Shii has reiterated the positive remark that “his party will make efforts to reach a forward-looking agreement before the general election.”
Although the two opposition parties have decided to field unified candidates in constituencies in which one seat will be contested in the upcoming House of Councillors election, there are many DP lawmakers who are unhappy with the party’s policy of cooperation with the JCP because they have not got over their “allergy to the JCP.” A senior DP member believes Okada is trying to strike a balance by implying the possibility while denying also it.
The ruling parties plan to step up criticism of a possible coalition between the DP and JCP. On June 20, Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Tanigaki Sadakazu stressed in a campaign speech in Sapporo that “that in many respects the DP’s and JCP’s policies are as different as water and oil.”