Tokyo, Jan. 7 (Jiji Press)–The leaders of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Democratic Party for the People met on Tuesday night, apparently to discuss details of the two major Japanese opposition parties’ envisaged integration.
Yukio Edano, chief of the CDPJ, the largest opposition party, and Yuichiro Tamaki, head of the second-largest DPFP, are believed to have talked about personnel affairs and basic policies, including on nuclear power, after the possible merger.
This was the first confirmed meeting between the leaders since CDPJ Secretary-General Tstsuro Fukuyama and his DPFP counterpart, Hirofumi Hirano, confirmed the planned merger of the parties at their meeting late last year. Tuesday’s meeting, held at a hotel in Tokyo, was joined by the secretaries-general.
At the Dec. 27 meeting, Fukuyama and Hirano agreed that the integration will be joined by the two parties’ lawmakers in both chambers of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, while leaving the final decision on personnel appointments to the two leaders.
But the two parties remain apart over how to carry out the integration. In talks with reporters on Sunday, Edano categorically denied the idea of creating “a new party” through the merger as he aims to realize the integration through the CDPJ absorbing the DPFP.
Tamaki has been arguing that the two parties should merge on an equal footing, since DPFP lawmakers in the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, remain cautious about the integration with the CDPJ.
It is unclear if the CDPJ and the DPFP can clinch a final merger accord by Jan. 20, when this year’s 150-day regular Diet session is set to start, as targeted by Edano, pundits said.