Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano and former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara have each decided to run for the presidency of the top opposition Democratic Party, following the resignation of the current leader, Renho, informed sources said Friday.
Edano, 53, asked for support for his planned candidacy at a meeting with former House of Representative Vice Speaker Hirotaka Akamatsu on Friday, according to the sources.
Akamatsu advised Edano to highlight policies that appeal to liberal members of the party during the leadership race, based on a position of promoting cooperation among opposition parties.
“Edano has made up his mind,” one of the sources said.
Meanwhile, at a meeting on the day attended by Maehara, 55, the DP group he leads confirmed that it will hurry to make preparations for the leadership election, which is slated to take place by early September.
For the leadership race, the Maehara camp is working with groups led by former Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Akihiro Ohata and by former Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yorihisa Matsuno.
The Maehara camp is expected to highlight a cautious attitude toward collaboration with the Japanese Communist Party.
Another possible candidate for the DP presidency is Yuichiro Tamaki, 48, currently deputy secretary general of the party.
On Friday, the DP decided at an executive meeting to hold a full-fledged leadership election with participation by all party members and supporters, in line with the previous leadership poll last September.