Tokyo, Aug. 26 (Jiji Press)–The main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan launched a new leadership team Friday, with veteran lawmaker Katsuya Okada, 69, picked as secretary-general.
Akira Nagatsuma, 62, became policy chief and Jun Azumi, 60, was named parliamentary affairs chief.
The new leadership team was approved at the day’s meeting of the party’s lawmakers in both chambers of the Diet, Japan’s parliament.
With support from the experienced lawmakers, CDP leader Kenta Izumi aims to revive the party following its major setback in the election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, in July.
Okada, Nagatsuma and Azumi served as cabinet ministers when the now-defunct Democratic Party of Japan, a predecessor of the CDP, was in power.
The appointments of the party heavyweights are aimed at “giving a stronger impression that the CDP aims to take power,” Izumi told a press conference after the party meeting.
Izumi also said that the party will form a “next cabinet,” or shadow cabinet, to boost preparations for winning power, and will actively give young party members posts under the scheme.
At a separate press conference, Okada said the CDP does not necessarily need to adjust national election candidates with other opposition parties in constituencies where there is no prospect of winning against the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Okada said the CDP will definitely not form a coalition with the Japanese Communist Party even if the CDP returns to power.
Before last year’s House of Representatives election, the CDP agreed with the JCP that the JCP would provide “limited cooperation from outside the cabinet” to a possible CDP-led government. But Okada said, “I don’t understand its meaning well.”
Among other new CDP executives, Hiroshi Ogushi, 56, was appointed to head the party’s election strategy committee. The previous secretary-general, Chinami Nishimura, 55, became acting party leader. Another acting leader, Seiji Osaka, 63, was retained.
In last year’s CDP leadership election, Izumi pledged to make women account for half of the party’s executives. This pledge was met in the previous CDP leadership team, but the new team includes only two women including Nishimura.