Yukio Edano, the leader of the newly established Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ), said on Nov. 20 that he will ask local assembly members of the Democratic Party (DP) to decide within the year whether or not to join the CDPJ. Edano told reporters in the Diet building, “I’d like to prioritize relations with the DP’s local politicians, but I can’t wait anymore. We’ll establish regional organizations with other politicians and field candidates (if they don’t join the CDPJ).”
The CDPJ has only one local assembly member, who won in the Nagoya municipal assembly by-election on Nov. 19. Also, the newly established party has only two prefectural chapters, in Miyagi and Aichi prefectures. Edano appears to have judged that the party needed to promptly build regional organizations ahead of the unified local elections and the Upper House election scheduled for 2019. The DP has already decided to maintain its regional organizations, including nationwide chapters, leading to the speculation that Edano’s decision will provoke a backlash from the DP.