It appears that promotion of the integrated resort (IR) bill is not the sole purpose of the “parliamentary union on the casino bill” launched recently in the Democratic Party (DP).
Former State Minister of Defense Akihisa Nagashima heads the group, and former Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yorihisa Matsuno serves as its secretary general. On the surface, the group’s goal is to work for the early start of deliberation on the IR bill, which the DP leadership is negative about. However, a supra-partisan parliamentary union on the IR already exists, and many DP members belong to this group. A DP Diet member observes that “there is little need to form another group in the party.” Furthermore, “the Liberal Democratic Party’s toughest adversary is Komeito, which is negative about this bill. With the Nippon Ishin [Japan Innovation Party] on its side, the LDP is not overly concerned about moves in the DP,” notes a political reporter. In other words, the formation of this DP group is inconsequential.
The above DP Diet member says that “the aim of Nagashima and others is to unite Diet members opposed to the party leadership.” Since in addition to Nagashima and Matsuno, who are left out in the cold in the party, former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara serves as the group’s adviser, this is clearly an “anti-Renho alliance.” The above reporter says that Nagashima and his colleagues are seriously concerned that “the party’s support rating has not improved even though Renho was elected for her popularity.” This group is attempting to put pressure on the Renho-Noda team and establish a framework for “deposing Renho” as soon as possible. Yet another seed of discord has been planted in the DP.