TOKYO — Democratic Party leader Renho said Thursday she has decided to step down as the leader of Japan’s largest opposition party.”After thinking about what we can do to make the public think of us as a Democratic Party they can trust…(I realized) I have to reflect on myself,” Renho said at a press conference in Tokyo.
The party performed poorly in the Tokyo metropolitan assembly election earlier this month, prompting its secretary general to announce on Tuesday his intention to resign.
Renho, 49, became the party’s first female leader when she won a leadership election in September last year.
Her wide recognition among the public had been seen as a chance to turn around the fortunes of a party struggling to be taken seriously after falling from power in 2012’s lower house election.
But support for the Democratic Party remains low, with the party having failed to successfully capitalize on a recent drop in support for the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Renho had also faced scrutiny over her former dual nationality, which is not allowed under Japanese law. Although she insisted she had unwittingly retained Taiwanese nationality into adulthood due to a misunderstanding, doubts lingered including within her party.