Tokyo, Feb. 27 (Jiji Press)–Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan leader Kenta Izumi at a party convention in Tokyo on Sunday called for unity among members of the main opposition party for this summer’s election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of Japanese parliament.
“Let’s do all we can to win the Upper House election,” he addressed participants at the meeting, showing the party’s intention to advance work to unify candidates with other opposition parties in the 32 prefectural constituencies where only one seat each will be up for grabs in the election.
“I’m aiming to help opposition parties together win a majority of all seats to be contested,” Izumi said. “I will make all-out efforts so that our party can increase seats in both (prefectural) constituencies and the (nationwide) proportional representation bloc.”
The CDP’s headquarters and prefectural chapters will work together to adjust candidates with other opposition parties, he said.
The term of office for Upper House members is six years. An Upper House election takes place every three years, with half of its total seats up for grabs in each poll.
At the convention, the CDP adopted its 2022 platform, which calls on the party to boost its presence by performing well in the Upper House election.
Tomoko Yoshino, head of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, who was invited to the CDP convention as a guest, said: “I want the party to challenge the ruling coalition in the Upper House election. We are ready to continue cooperating with the party to realize policies.”
The Upper House election will be the first major national election for Izumi since he became CDP leader late last year. His leadership is tested as the CDP is struggling to regain strength after it suffered a setback in last October’s general election for the House of Representatives, the all-important lower chamber of parliament.
But the course of work to unify candidates with the Democratic Party for the People and the Japanese Communist Party looks uncertain.
Rengo opposes the CDP’s election cooperation with the JCP. At a press conference after the party convention, Izumi said Rengo also thinks that it is possible for the CDP to adjust candidates with the JCP.
If the CDP promotes candidate adjustment with the JCP, however, it could lose the backing of conservative supporters as it did in the Lower House election, analysts said.
The CDP may also find it difficult to negotiate with the DPFP because of gaps in stances between the two parties. At a recent Lower House plenary meeting, The DPFP voted for the government’s fiscal 2022 budget, a rare move by an opposition party.
On whether the DPFP is a target for candidate adjustment, Izumi said, “The situation is delicate, and we have to ask the party about its stance,” indicating that the CDP will carefully watch moves by the DPFP.