An interview by Mainichi Shimbun’s Oba Hiroyuki with political analyst Ito Atsuo
Right after the Oct. 31 Lower House election, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) sensed that its party leader, Edano Yukio, would have to resign.
Although Edano has done a good job in developing the party into the main opposition party, he has an overly strong sense of himself as the party’s “founder,” and this has recently resulted his taking a dictatorial and autocratic approach, which has frustrated party members.
The united front with the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) was essential to field a unified candidate in single-seat constituencies, but Edano’s signing a policy agreement with the JCP was going too far.
I also have had the strong impression that the CDPJ has been becoming increasingly left-leaning, despite the fact that the party needs to attract conservative voters if it wants to take over the reins of government.
What’s more, voters are still reeling from the failure of the administration run by the now-defunct Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). Edano was at the center of the DPJ administration.
The next CDPJ leadership will have to take the drastic move of eliminating DPJ associations by allowing the new generation to take the helm.
Many voters do not want to see a quick change of government. Under the new leadership, the CDPJ should take a long-term perspective and develop its human resources, strengthen its organization, and build the party from the ground up.