Reacting strongly to Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike’s launching of a new party called Kibo no To [Party of Hope] and becoming its leader on Sept. 25, a leading Komeito official in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly indicated that he is thinking of ending Komeito’s collaboration with Koike’s Tomin First [Tokyoites First] party. Komeito’s becoming an opposition force in the Tokyo assembly will deprive Koike of majority control in the legislature. However, Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi is still taking a wait-and-see attitude on the issue of dissolving the cooperative relationship.
Komeito parted ways with the Liberal Democratic Party in the Tokyo assembly election this summer to cooperate with the Tomin First party. The above Komeito official voiced the following criticism of Koike: “We cooperated with Ms. Koike in the assembly election on the assumption that she would focus on Tokyo’s administration. She betrayed our trust. We are very displeased.” Since Komeito’s cooperation with Tomin First was approved by the party headquarters, this official said he will decide on an official response after consulting with Yamaguchi.
Yamaguchi gave the following comments on Koike on the same day: “She has yet to show results in her work as governor. I hope she will focus on her job as governor.” Regarding dissolving the two parties’ cooperative relationship in the Tokyo assembly, Yamaguchi merely said: “We hope she fulfills her responsibilities as Tokyo’s governor. We would like to watch her very closely.”
Koike’s Tomin First (55 seats) and Komeito (23 seats) control the majority in the Tokyo assembly (with 127 members). The two parties are planning to jointly submit a bill to prevent passive smoking in the ongoing regular assembly session.