The Party of Hope will hold a general meeting of both Lower and Upper House members on Oct. 27 to form an interim new leadership. The party is finalizing a plan to appoint Atsushi Oshima, 60-year-old former Democratic Party (DP) Secretary-General who represents the Saitama No.6 district in the Lower House of the Diet, as a joint representative along with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike. Participants of the meeting will discuss measures for the Diet nomination for prime minister ahead of a special Diet session to be convened on Nov. 1.
The party contested the latest Lower House election with major posts, such as secretary-general and policy research council chairman, being vacant. Koike said on Oct. 25 that she will continue leading the new national party. But she also said she will entrust the leadership’s lineup, including a co-party leader, to discussions of the party’s members of parliament.
In response to her remarks, acting head Shinji Tarutoko and Oshima coordinated personnel proposals, including those for a co-representative, on Oct. 26. The party saw most of the founding members, including Koike’s close aide Masaru Wakasa, being defeated in the latest Lower House election and about 40 out of 50 successful candidates were from the Democratic Party (DP). That prompted many in the Party of Hope to believe that “Oshima will be able to easily obtain wide-ranging understanding of the public” as a co-party chief.
Some in the party push for Yuichiro Tamaki, a 48-year-old young hopeful who formerly served as acting director-general of the DP, to co-head the party. He represents the Kagawa No.2 district in the Lower House and merged with the Party of Hope for the election. But there is a persistent view in the party that “Tamaki should run for the actual leadership election to be held within the year” because the leadership to be elected this time is tentative.
Tamaki met with Oshima on the evening of Oct. 26. He appeared on a BS Nippon TV program that night and insisted that a party leadership election should be held in November, saying, “I’m ready to lead the party.”
Meanwhile, Koike visited the headquarters of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, on the same day and met with President Rikio Kozu. Koike expressed her gratitude for all the support from the labor union in the latest Lower House election. According to Koike, the two affirmed their commitment to continue cooperation in policies and regional elections.