Edano Moves to Again Take Up CDPJ Leadership

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Yukio Edano, former leader of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Yukio Edano, former leader of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, is believed to have begun his bid to return as party chief amid flagging public support for the party and smoldering dissatisfaction within the party with its current leader, Kenta Izumi.

At the end of August, Edano released a revised version of the “Edano Vision,” a vision of society that he originally compiled when he was party leader.

At a rally held in his constituency in Saitama on Saturday, Edano said, “There is no respite for Japan now. We must take power in the next general election.”

He also mentioned his regret that he could not sufficiently convey the party’s philosophy when he was its leader.

Supporters called on him to serve as CDPJ leader again.

Since the release of the revised vision, Edano has been active, speaking at a seminar of the largest liberal group within the CDPJ.

He has also told some CDPJ lawmakers of his desire to serve as party leader again, informed sources said.

Under the slogan “a decent society that supports each other,” the revised vision advocates better treatment for child care and nursing care workers and the promotion of renewable energy.

Announcing the revised vision, Edano said, “I must speak out strongly with a sense of responsibility. What I am speaking about is the vision of the CDPJ.”

Edano founded the predecessor of the CDPJ in 2017.

The CDPJ suffered a defeat in the 2021 House of Representatives election when he was the party’s leader, and he resigned to take responsibility for the defeat.

Within the party, there are not a few expectations for Edano’s return as leader. This is due to the fact that the party has not regained momentum under Izumi’s leadership, and there is a sense of stagnation in the party.

In recent opinion polls conducted by media organizations, the CDPJ’s approval ratings were often below those of Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party), another opposition party.

With by-elections for the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors scheduled for Oct. 22, some sources close to Izumi are concerned that if the CDPJ loses both of the two by-elections, it could lead to Izumi’s ouster.

While party insiders are hopeful that Edano will be able to solidify the support of the party’s liberal members and labor unions, such hopes also stem from the lack of a consensus candidate to succeed Izumi.

A mid-ranking party official said, “Edano will be the only choice next time by a process of elimination.”

If Edano is reappointed, however, there would be no denying that a generational change in the party has failed. A senior official of a labor union affiliated with the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) said, “The public would think that the CDPJ has gone backward.”