All dailies reported extensively on the Party of Hope’s announcement on Tuesday of its initial list of candidates for the upcoming Lower House election, noting that out of the 192 candidates, 110 are from the Democratic Party. Yomiuri claimed that some voters will not be impressed by the list because many prominent DP lawmakers have chosen not to join the new party. According to Asahi, only about half of the politicians who had planned to run as DP candidates were included in the list. The Party of Hope, which is headed by Tokyo Governor Koike, decided not to field candidates in nine single-seat districts where the Komeito party plans to field their own candidates, perhaps in a bid to obtain Komeito’s cooperation in running the Tokyo metropolitan assembly because Koike’s Tomin First party lacks a single majority in the legislature.
The Party of Hope has also decided not to field candidates in districts where LDP politicians who are believed to be close to Koike plan to run, including the districts of former Defense Minister Ishiba and Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Noda. On the other hand, the new party plans to field candidates in districts where the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) is also expected to field them. The Party of Hope is likely to endorse several dozen more candidates in the coming days to demonstrate that it is serious about clinching a majority of the 465 seats up for grabs.
Meanwhile, Mainichi predicted that some 50 politicians will run as CDPJ candidates across the country. According to Nikkei, CDPJ leader Edano said on Tuesday that his party will not field candidates in constituencies where former DP members plan to run as Party of Hope candidates or independents. Asahi said some 30 DP officials, including former Prime Minister Noda and former DP President Okada, will probably run as independents, partly in response to Koike’s policy of demanding that party candidates endorse in writing the controversial comprehensive security laws, which the largest opposition has long been insisting are “unconstitutional.”