Tokyo, Jan. 9 (Jiji Press)–The Democratic Party for the People has proposed to the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan that the conclusion of their merger talks be delayed until as late as September, Jiji Press learned Thursday.
DPFP leader Yuichiro Tamaki told his CDPJ counterpart, Yukio Edano, that no deadline should be set for the conclusion of the negotiations so that the talks may continue until just after the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, informed sources said.
But Edano rejected the proposal, reiterating that the two opposition parties should strike a merger deal before the ordinary session of the Diet, the country’s parliament, starts on Jan. 20, the sources said.
Tamaki believes that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is unlikely to dissolve the House of Representatives, the all-important lower chamber of the Diet, anytime soon amid a series of scandals involving his administration, the sources said.
Tamaki hopes to buy time to build a consensus on the envisaged merger inside his party, where some members are still cautious about the marriage, the sources said.
The Paralympics will end on Sept. 6.
Tamaki and Edano had an informal meeting Tuesday night and held further talks over the telephone to narrow the gap between the two sides.
Their negotiations have made little headway, a DPFP source said, adding that the CDPJ has not made any concession on the merged party’s name, executive appointments or basic policies.
A DPFP executive said it would be fine if the two parties merge just after the end of the 2020 Games. Some speculate that Abe may dissolve the Lower House for a snap election after the games.
“If the two parties merge without taming dissent, the merged entity will break up soon,” the executive said.
Meanwhile, a member of the CDPJ’s biggest faction, led by Lower House Vice Speaker Hirotaka Akamatsu, said, “We want Tamaki to reach a conclusion by Jan. 20.”
“The way things stand, we’re headed for a breakdown of the negotiations,” the member added.