Following Shinzo Abe’s dissolution of the Japanese parliament for a snap election on October 22, Seiji Maehara, leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, announced to his MPs that he would not field any candidates. He encouraged them to apply instead to run for a new party established by the governor of Tokyo only two days ago.
Tokyo’s governor, Yuriko Koike, has announced the formation of the Party of Hope (Kibo no To) to contest the election She laid out her party’s vision: to “reset” Japan, operating free of the interests of the political establishment and maintaining its pacifist principles, which are enshrined in its constitution.
Maehara’s proposal to shift allegiance to Koike’s movement was unanimously approved at a general meeting of DP MPs the same day. Under the plan, all DP candidates for the general election have been asked to abandon party membership and apply to join the official ticket of Kibo no To.
“I made this proposal after thinking about what would realize a change in power again,” Maehara told DP MPs during the meeting. According to Maehara’s plan, the DP will give “full support” to Koike’s party in election campaigns, including financial support for former DP members running on the Kibo no To ticket.
During a TV interview on Wednesday, Koike said her party will choose applicants from the DP after close consideration of their views on constitutional revision and security issues.