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CDP chief Edano rules out endless talks on merger, cautions DPP

  • January 6, 2020
  • , The Asahi Shimbun , 4:55 p.m.
  • English Press
  • ,

By NOBORU INOUE/ Staff Writer

 

Leading opposition party leader Yukio Edano of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan threw down the gauntlet to his counterpart at the Democratic Party for the People, saying his offer to merge was basically a one-time proposal.

 

Edano made clear he was not interested in repetitive meetings on the issue.

 

After visiting Izumo Taisha shine in Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, Edano told reporters on Jan. 5: “I won’t hold meetings (with DPP leader Yuichiro Tamaki) more than twice.” His remark was at odds with Tamaki’s inference Jan. 4 on the possibility of holding several rounds of talks.

 

“Talks between party heads should be held after each entity has built up a consensus through discussions among its executive members,” Edano said. “If we fail to reach agreement at our initial meeting, we won’t be able (to merge).”

 

Edano seemed impatient to get on with the merger process and willing to abandon the talks if a quick conclusion was not forthcoming.

 

For his part, Tamaki showed he wanted to proceed carefully by stating Jan. 4 he needed to meet several times with Edano.

 

In response, Edano cautioned that if an initial meeting on the issue resulted in no agreement, he was content to have a loose arrangement of a more cooperative alliance among the different parties.

 

GAP IN INTEREST

 

The timing of a possible merger between the two main opposition parties reflects differences in the interests of Edano and Tamaki.

 

In December, Edano called on the DPP and other parties to merge with CDP and appeared inclined to want to wrap things up before the year came to an end.

 

Tamaki, however, made clear he was in no rush and that members in his party were cautious about a merger.

 

In late December, the secretaries-general of the two parties agreed to cautiously move forward.

 

But they left the decision on party name, personnel affairs and details of the merger to discussions between the party chiefs.

 

Tamaki said he intended to create a new party in some form or other, which prompted Edano to state that he himself had no plan to create a new party.

 

“I have never called for forming a new party and have never talked about such a thing even at the level of talks between our respective secretaries-general,” Edano said.

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