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CDPJ’s Edano in difficult position over election collaboration with JCP

  • April 28, 2021
  • , Yomiuri , p.4
  • JMH Translation
  • , ,

Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) leader Yukio Edano met separately with his counterparts Yuichiro Tamaki of the Democratic Party for the People (DPFP) and Kazuo Shii of the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) on April 27 to discuss three-party collaboration in the next Lower House election. The CDPJ and the JCP back separate candidates in 67 electoral districts, and negotiations on supporting unified candidates in these districts are expected to be difficult. Edano will no doubt have a particularly tough time negotiating after the JCP succeeded in demonstrating the strength of its support base in the most recent parliamentary elections. The JCP is unlikely to compromise readily.

 

“Mr. Shii and I agreed to discuss inter-party cooperation in the general election,” Edano told the press after a meeting with the JCP leader. “We will have to make sure to respect each other’s positions in the areas where our policies diverge,” Edano said, indicating that he will take a careful approach in the negotiations with the JCP to select unified opposition candidates.

 

Shii explained to the press that if his party were to join forces with the CDPJ in the next election, it would be crucial to forge an agreement on a coalition administration. “I proposed to Mr. Edano that we discuss common policy items, a coalition administration, and cooperation in elections,” he said.

 

However, Edano is wary of being seen as “too close to the JCP” because that could jeopardize election cooperation with other opposition parties. Edano held talks with the DPFP’s Tamaki prior to meeting with Shii for this very reason. When Edano invited Tamaki to discuss unified candidates for the April 25 parliamentary elections, Tamaki told him, “I am concerned about [the CDPJ’s] relationship with the JCP.”

 

The JCP’s decision not to field candidates in the three elections was a major factor in the opposition’s victory. According to a senior member of the CDPJ, the party is increasingly aware that “a unified front with the JCP is indispensable for winning the Lower House election.”

 

On the other hand, the CDPJ leadership steered clear of the JCP during the campaign leading up to the April 25 elections, forgoing joint stump speeches with JCP leaders. The JCP is outraged because it feels the CDPJ is only taking advantage of the JCP. “There are limits to our patience,” a senior JCP member said indignantly. “It became apparent in the recent elections that the opposition cannot win without the JCP. We won’t allow them to further ostracize the JCP.” (Slightly abridged)

 

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