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Rupture of Party of Hope “imminent” amid moves to cooperate with DP

The Party of Hope, with 51 members in the House of Representatives and 3 in the House of Councillors, is now certain to break up. Party leader Yuichiro Tamaki made a proposal to divide the party at an executive meeting on Jan. 16 to accommodate the wishes of party members who are opposed to forming a joint floor group with the Democratic Party (DP) in the Diet. The party is expected to make a formal decision on forming the joint floor group with the DP and splitting up the party at a general meeting of all Diet members on Jan. 17.

 

Tamaki stated at the executive meeting held in the Diet: “If there are members who wish to adhere to the original policies (at the time the party was founded), I would like to deal with this amicably by carrying out the procedures to split up the party.”

 

Upper House member Shigefumi Matsuzawa and a number of Lower House members are against forming a joint floor group with the DP. Matsuzawa is demanding from the party leadership that the party cooperate with the more conservative Nippon Ishin [Japan Innovation Party], rather than with the DP, which stands for totally incompatible security policies.

 

Tamaki, Secretary General Motohisa Furukawa, and other party officials envision merging with the DP in the future. The decision to divide the party was due to the fact that “it is impossible to bridge the gap with Matsuzawa and his group,” according to an aide to Tamaki.

 

A new party will be formed if the Party of Hope splits up. In addition to Matsuzawa, Upper House members Kyoko Nakayama and Kuniko Koda and Lower House member Nariaki Nakayama are expected to join the new party.

 

However, the new group needs to have at least five Diet members in order to qualify as a political party. Matsuzawa is calling on Lower House member Goshi Hosono and others to join them. The party’s policy chief Akihisa Nagashima has decided to remain in the Party of Hope.

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