Democratic Party (DP) leader Kohei Otsuka and his Party of Hope counterpart Yuichiro Tamaki met at the Diet in the late afternoon of April 9, where they agreed to start talks on forming a new party, which the DP is proposing. The DP will continue to exist as a party but will change its name after merging with the Party of Hope. The two parties agreed to hold the first meeting of their committee on the new party to discuss the new party name, political platform, and basic policies. They are aiming at reaching a formal agreement before the end of this month.
At a news conference held after the meeting, Otsuka said that they plan to “build a political regime that will enable change of administration as soon as possible.” Tamaki also indicated their intent to “create an alternative to the Abe administration.” The committee on the new party will consist of the two parties’ leaders, secretaries general, and other officers. They also decided to form study groups on the new party’s political platform and basic policies, regulations, and other key issues. With regard to the name of the new party, many members of both parties favor reviving the “Democratic Party of Japan.”
At a general meeting of Party of Hope members of both houses of the Diet held before the leaders’ meeting, many participants supported starting merger talks with the DP. This party, which was formed in September last year by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike for the last House of Representatives election, is now expected to be disbanded after only seven months in existence without managing to restore its political force.