In an interview with Tokyo Shimbun, Katsuya Okada, Democratic Party (DP) adviser and leader of the “Independents Club” floor group in the House of Representatives, advocated fielding common candidates by the DP, and the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) and the Party of Hope, which broke away from the DP, and drawing up a joint proportional representation ticket by the three parties in the 2019 House of Councillors election.
Okada stressed that “one of the goals is to have a joint proportional representation list” after the three parties agree on supporting common candidates in the single- and two-seat constituencies. He further called for the three parties to cooperate in the simultaneous local elections to be held before the Upper House race.“If we fight in the election separately, it will only result in the expansion of the ruling parties’ force,” he said. “We will have to [cooperate] in order to win.”
Okada asserted that the DP, together with the Independents Club, “will show great capability in uniting the opposition parties.” He also argued for the need to consult with the Japanese Communist Party, the Liberal Party, and the Social Democratic Party, on fielding common candidates.
“I am not thinking of reuniting the DP right away after its breakup,” he said. “It is necessary to have a cooling off period.” He intends to build trust by promoting cooperation first at the local level, such as through the formation of joint floor groups by local assembly members or regional parties, and eventually in the Diet.
Okada emphasized that confronting the Abe administration “will require the assembling of a comprehensive force comprising of politicians from the conservatives to the liberals.” He voiced criticism of the Party of Hope, noting that “it might be difficult to cooperate with this party as long as it is saying that it might work with the Liberal Democratic Party under certain circumstances.”