Democratic Party Acting President Renho, who announced her candidacy for the party leadership, spoke with foreign journalists and reporters at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (FCCJ) on Aug. 23. On the Emperor’s recent video message in which he hinted he would like to abdicate, she noted: “The government has never given a thought to how to cope with the aging of the imperial family. That is an omission of the legislative branch of government and we must reflect on this seriously.”
During the press conference, she mentioned the election cooperation with the Japanese Communist Party and praised Okada’s efforts to promote cooperation among the opposition parties. “Single-seat constituencies form a unique battleground, and the opposition parties would not be able to win seats if they are not united,” she said. “Fielding unified candidates was the best approach that we have taken.” Meanwhile, she stressed that “in the Tokyo district, in which I ran, the Social Democratic Party and the JCP were rivals. (Election cooperation) is not a ‘policy course’ but a tactic to be implemented based on various situations in constituencies and regions.”
She also explained how she would revamp the party’s image. “I like Okada, but as I worked with him (in the party leadership) for a year and half, I found he is such a bore. People need a sense of humor and I have one,” she said, drawing laughter from reporters. After the press conference, she tweeted, “I showed Okada respect and also conveyed he is serious and without a sense of humor.”
Akamatsu supports Renho
Prior to the press conference at the FCCJ, she met with former House of Representatives Vice Speaker Hirotaka Akamatsu, who hailed from the former socialist party, at the Diet building and won his backing for her candidacy for the presidential race.
She also met with Kenji Eda and Yorihisa Matsuno, who hailed from the former Japan Innovation Party. She told them that she is amenable to reform of the governing system and other policies that the group advocates and called for their support. But after the meeting, Eda told reporters that extending support to Renho is “one option.” (Abridged)