Kyodo News completed on Aug. 26 a survey of 47 prefectural chapters of the Democratic Party (DP) on the candidate they support in the forthcoming presidential election.
Former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara, 55, who leads in support from incumbent Diet members, had the support of 17 prefectural chapters, against 12 chapters supporting former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, 53. Since many leaders of local chapters were still undecided, it is still possible that the situation may change when voting takes place on Sept. 1.
Nineteen of the local chapters were in favor of continuing the opposition’s united front in the next House of Representatives election, while 12 were against it.
Only a minority were positive about cooperating with the new party that Lower House member Masaru Wakasa, a close confidant of Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, will form within this year.
The survey targeted local assembly members who serve as the chairman or secretary general of prefectural chapters and excluded Diet members. Eighteen chapters said they were “undecided” about whether to support Maehara or Edano or chose not to answer the question. (Abridged)