The Tuesday editions of all national dailies reported on the official kickoff yesterday of the campaign to elect the leader of the new opposition party to be launched next week through a merger between the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) and the Democratic Party for the People (DPFP). CDPJ leader Edano and DPFP Policy Research Committee Chairman Izumi are competing against each other for the top post. The papers said that while Edano underscores the importance of the largest opposition group being confrontational toward the ruling coalition, Izumi insists that the new party should put forward alternative policy proposals in order to show the public that it is playing a constructive role in national politics. The papers said Edano appears likely to win the election on Thursday.
In a related development, all papers reported that a total of 19 DPFP parliamentarians have decided not to join the new opposition party on account of its liberal orientation. Fourteen of them, including leader Tamaki, will launch a new party. The remaining five will not join any party for the time being.