Opposition leader in Japan to resign: Failure of Yukio Edano

Opposition leader in Japan to resign: Failure of Yukio Edano

Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

The Liberal Democratic Party (LPD) won the Lower House general election easily, despite internal political convulsions in the last 13 months. These convulsions witnessed three different prime ministers. Henceforth, with enormous discontent about the holding of the Olympics and the longevity of the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis in Japan, the main opposition should have made powerful inroads. However, the opposite happened.

Thus once it emerged that the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ), the main opposition party to the LDP, won 13 fewer seats, the writing was on the wall for Yukio Edano.

Naturally, Edano announced his resignation from being the leader of the CDPJ. This should be welcomed because the main opposition is stale under his leadership.

Edano said, “It is my responsibility to take the next step so that our party will become an option to lead the government. I concluded that our party should face next summer’s House of Councillors election and the next lower house election under a new leader.”

Edano further said, “My inadequacy is the reason this happened… I apologize from the bottom of my heart to all of the party executives, to all of our supporters across the country, and most of all to our colleagues who unfortunately were not elected.”

The largest labor organization in Japan (Rengo) had warned the CDPJ that its decision to cooperate with other opposition parties was a mistake. Rengo aimed this warning concerning the Japanese Communist Party (JCP). However, Edano decided on an agreement with other opposition parties, including the JCP, in order to fight the LDP in a straight battle in many constituencies.

However, as Rengo had warned, this backfired because the CDPJ lost more seats.

In the single-seat constituencies, where a unified candidate from five opposition parties was selected, the outcome resulted in a 28 percent success rate. Further underlying the mistake made by Edano and other CDPJ leaders.

Lee Jay Walker says, “The LDP was fearing its strongest opposition challenge since 2009. However, despite having three leaders of the ruling LDP in the last 13 months, the party won the endorsement of the Japanese electorate by a sizeable margin. Therefore, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida can partly thank the folly of Edano because the main opposition party performed abysmally given the circumstances.”

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