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Japan opposition caucuses to be formed in extra session

  • September 19, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 10:04 p.m.
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Tokyo, Sept. 19 (Jiji Press)–The biggest opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the second-largest Democratic Party for the People and a small opposition group agreed Thursday to establish a joint caucus in each of the two chambers of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, in time for the start of an extraordinary Diet session on Oct. 4.

The move is aimed at ousting the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. However, it is unclear whether the forces can remain united amid policy differences and ill will over the July 21 election for the House of Councillors, the Diet’s upper chamber, observers said.

The agreement was reached at a meeting Thursday among CDPJ chief Yukio Edano, DPFP head Yuichiro Tamaki and Yoshihiko Noda, chief of the House of Representatives group calling for rebuilding the nation’s social security system.

The Lower House and Upper House caucuses will have 117 and 61 lawmakers, respectively, if all members of the three forces join the move. Members from the Social Democratic Party will also take part in the Upper House caucus.

“The opposition forces will stand firm and face off against (the Abe government),” Edano said at a joint press conference with Tamaki and Noda.

The joint caucuses are expected to step up efforts for strengthening their unity during and after the extraordinary Diet session to show a more confrontational stance against the Abe administration in preparation for the next Lower House election.

However, there is discord between the CDPJ and DPFP over key policy issues such as nuclear power, the consumption tax hike and constitutional reform. In addition, the two parties battled it out in constituencies where two seats were contested in the July Upper House election.

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