By Minami Nomaguchi and Itsuo Higashikubo
During a Radio Nippon program on Feb. 5, Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Edano spoke of his party’s relationship with the Democratic Party for the People (DPFP), saying, “We will aim to create a coalition government as two separate political parties.” Earlier the two parties had discussed merging, but the talks have in effect broken down.
The ill will between the two parties could impact their ability to present a joint front at the next Lower House election, and Edano put forward a new goal out of a desire to maintain collaboration. The DPFP, however, is seeking to continue the merger talks. It looks like the relationship between these two parties will continue to be complex for the time being.
Drawing on the fact that the two parties have formed a joint parliamentary group in the Upper and Lower Houses, Edano said, “We share a common philosophy and policies, but the DPFP says, ‘We need to iron out differences.’ Personally I think we just need to recognize our differences as separate parties.” “There is no need for an administration that replaces the Liberal Democratic Party to be a single party. There is no problem with a coalition government.”
Within the DPFP, however, the pro-merger camp and the anti-merger camp are still at loggerheads. Party leader Yuichiro Tamaki is in an awkward position. At a press conference on Feb. 5, Tamaki seemed puzzled by Edano’s statement. “We need to listen again to what the CDPJ has to say,” he commented.