Opposition party Ishin no Kai members wary of getting too close with CDPJ

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) has been struggling to manage its relationship with the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan as they work together to draft a counterproposal for the extraordinary Diet session, with some Ishin no Kai members concerned that a close relationship with the CDPJ could lead to the defection of supporters.

On Monday, the two parties jointly submitted a bill to the extraordinary session of the National Assembly to provide relief for harm caused by the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, widely known as the Unification Church. The bill would allow for the revocation of large donations exceeding one-fourth of a person’s annual income if the donor is incapable of making sound judgments.

Shun Otokita, chairperson of the Ishin no Kai policy research committee, told reporters on Oct. 12 that the bill “will be a major force to push the government and ruling parties, which have been very reluctant to act.”

In addition to agreeing on six items that included measures against the Unification Church, the parties broadened the scope of their cooperation by reaching an agreement on two additional items on Oct. 6, including the drafting of a counterproposal to the government’s amendment of the Infectious Disease Law.

However, Ishin no Kai’s diet affairs chief Takashi Endo prefers to keep his distance from the CDPJ. “We shouldn’t use the word ‘cooperation,’ because it’s misleading,” Endo has said.

Ishin no Kai has won votes from people critical of the CDPJ. A senior member of Ishin no Kai is therefore deeply concerned about getting close to the CDPJ, especially among local councilors, saying that cooperation would “disappoint its supporters.”

Ishin no Kai leader Nobuyuki Baba said, “There is no such thing as a coalition or electoral cooperation.”

He has repeatedly emphasized that cooperation is limited to the Diet, and has been busy putting out fires.