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POLITICS > Elections

CDPJ in dilemma over cooperation with JCP 

  • November 3, 2021
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All national dailies noted that the next leader of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) will have to decide whether to continue election cooperation with the Japanese Communist Party (JCP). While only 28% of the candidates fielded jointly with the communists and other opposition parties in the 213 single-seat constituencies won, 34 of the single-seat races that the unified contestants lost to LDP competitors were extremely tight, according to Nikkei. While many CDPJ politicians have concluded that the party lost more than it gained from joining hands with the communists, others insist that the party’s losses would have been much greater if it hadn’t coordinated with the JCP. While the CDPJ’s largest supporter, Rengo, is calling for the party to steer clear of the communists, JCP Secretary General Koike expressed strong hope on Tuesday for continued cooperation.  


Asahi wrote that the CDPJ as well its predecessor, the Democratic Party of Japan, had been fraught with internal divisions between conservative lawmakers and progressives over its policy direction, noting that under the strong leadership of Edano, the party had finally cemented its liberal orientation in the run-up to the general election. The paper projected that the public’s apparent rejection of Edano’s pursuit of liberal policies has triggered another “identity crisis” for the largest opposition party. 


In a related development, Yomiuri’s latest opinion poll that was conducted right after the general election showed that the public was equally split in its assessment of the CDPJ’s election cooperation with the JCP, with 44% in favor and 44% opposed. About 55% welcomed the ruling coalition’s resounding victory while 28% felt otherwise. Support for the Kishida Cabinet rose four points to 56%. Support for the Japan Innovation Party (JIP) tripled to 10%, with the corresponding figure in the Kansai area being 34%, exceeding that of the LDP (27%).   


A Kyodo survey found similar trends. More than three out of five said the CDPJ should reconsider its election cooperation with the JCP. Support for the Kishida Cabinet increased 2.4 points to 58.1%. Approval of the JIP surged from 5% to 14.4%, surpassing the CDPJ to become the most popular opposition party. 


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