The Daily Manila Shimbun


Maehara leads opposition DP’s leadership race

August 17, 2017

TOKYO- Former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara is taking a lead over his opponent, former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, in the leadership race of the main Japanese opposition Democratic Party in terms of support from DP lawmakers.

Maehara has already secured support from about 80 of the 144 DP lawmakers, nearly 60 pct of the total, according to a Jiji Press tally.

Edano will aim to recover from the setback by luring rank-and-file party members and supporters, as well as local assembly members of the party, who together make up more than half of the votes to be cast in the Sept. 1 election.

Votes from the 144 lawmakers only account for about one third of the ballots.

On Wednesday, Maehara attended a joint meeting of two groups of DP lawmakers that were previously led by Goshi Hosono and Akihisa Nagashima, respectively, who both recently left the party.

The members of the two groups, some 20 in total, conveyed their intention to support Maehara in the leadership poll.

In response, Maehara expressed hopes to work together with Hosono and Nagashima again in the near future, noting that his way of thinking is very close to theirs.

Hosono and Nagashima departed the DP criticizing the current party leadership's strategy of cooperation with the Japanese Communist Party, another opposition party.

Maehara is attracting support from conservative DP lawmakers partly for his negative stance toward cooperation with the JCP. Eventually, more than 100 DP lawmakers will support him, a party source said.

Supporters of Edano include former DP leader Katsuya Okada and former Prime Minister Naoto Kan. Jiji Press