All papers reported that former Senior Vice Defense Minister Nagashima expressed his intention on Monday to run in the DP presidential election in September on the platform of conducting a review of the present leadership’s policy of deepening cooperation with the Japanese Communist Party. The hawkish lawmaker has decided to seek the presidency following the poor performance in Sunday’s Tokyo gubernatorial race of journalist Torigoe, who was backed by the DP, the JCP, and two other opposition partners. Nagashima indicated, however, that he may choose to drop out of the race if he deems that someone else is more qualified as long as the candidate is negative about teaming up with the JCP. He may cooperate with former DPJ President Maehara and former Secretary General Hosoda, both of whom are similarly critical of collaboration with the JCP.
Acting President Renho is also likely to seek the party presidency and may ask for support from liberal-minded DP members by calling for maintaining current President Okada’s policy of deepening collaboration with other opposition parties. Several papers predicted that some 20 DP lawmakers who used to belong to the Japan Innovation Party will be the deciding factor in the presidential race that is likely to be a contest between Renho and a candidate representing the conservative wing of the largest opposition party.