TOKYO – Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike denied on Friday that her new political party will form a grand coalition with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party after the lower house election on Oct. 22.
Asked about the possibility, Koike told reporters at the metropolitan government headquarters “there is none.” But the governor said her party would cooperate with the LDP and other parties “on their merits so that our own policies could be realized.”
Late last month Koike formed the Party of Hope in an attempt to challenge the LDP. The “reform-minded, conservative” party absorbed many lawmakers from the collapsing main opposition Democratic Party after its leader Seiji Maehara effectively disbanded it to allow its members to run from Koike’s party.
The Party of Hope has fielded 235 candidates for the 465 seats up for grabs in the House of Representatives election next week.
Opinion polls by multiple media outlets showed the fledging party is unlikely to threaten the LDP’a grip on power, with a Kyodo News survey projecting it will win around 60 seats. The LDP and its coalition partner Komeito party are expected to secure more than 300 seats, according to the survey.
That has prompted speculation that Koike, who left the LDP to run for Tokyo governor last year, might join hands with the ruling party as her party and the LDP hold similar conservative views on issues such as amending the Japanese Constitution.