Certain lawmakers from the Democratic Party (DP) who are running under the Kibo no To [Party of Hope] led by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike in the House of Representatives election on Oct. 22 are distancing themselves from Koike. This is because Koike’s “exclusionist” policy of demanding that DP members wishing to run under her party agree to its security and other policies during the screening process has continued to undermine their election campaign.
DP incumbent Lower House member Junya Ogawa (first district of Kagawa), who is one of the closest confidants of DP President Seiji Maehara, criticized Koike at a campaign meeting in Takamatsu City on Oct. 15. He said: “Her words were intolerant and could not have been acceptable to the people.” He also pointed out that Koike’s forcing DP members to sign a policy agreement on accepting the security laws and other policies “as a litmus test” was “wrong.”
A DP source confided that “Koike’s popularity plunged after that. Many traditional DP supporters deserted the Party of Hope.”
Therefore, many DP incumbents are highlighting themselves rather than the Party of Hope in the campaign. Incumbent Lower House member Michiyoshi Yunoki (fourth district of Okayama) handed out leaflets saying “Abe’s plan to revise Article 9 of the Constitution is dangerous!” in his constituency. (Abridged)