CDPJ Eyes No-Confidence Motion Against Kishida Cabinet; Move Follows Sweeping CDPJ Victory in All 3 By-Elections

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Kenta Izumi, head of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, answers reporters’ questions at party headquarters in Tokyo on Sunday night.

The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan party is considering submitting a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s Cabinet around June 23, the end of the current Diet session. The CDPJ won all three by-elections for the House of Representatives on Sunday, aided by public criticism of the Liberal Democratic Party factions that violated the Political Funds Control Law.

With the victories in Tokyo Constituency No. 15, Shimane Constituency No. 1 and Nagasaki Constituency No. 3, the largest opposition party is set to step up its confrontation against the administration led by Kishida.

“We want people to recognize that the LDP’s political reform plan won’t be able to win public confidence,” CDPJ chief Kenta Izumi said at the party headquarters on Sunday night. He also indicated an intention to seek an early dissolution of the lower house and a general election, depending on the LDP’s response.

“Changing the government in the next lower house election is no longer an unrealistic goal,” said one CDPJ member who was formerly a cabinet member.

The biggest focus in the second half of the current Diet session will be revisions to the Political Funds Control Law.

The CDPJ is calling for a complete ban on political fundraising parties and scrapping political donations by businesses and organizations. The party is set to press the LDP, which is cautious about the CDPJ’s proposals, to make the reforms a reality.

“The public’s distrust of politics is higher than ever. There is no option not to submit a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet,” said a senior CDPJ member.

However, Izumi’s power as a unifying force is not necessarily on the rise within the party. Since he assumed his post in November 2021, CDPJ candidates were defeated in all three by-elections for both the lower and upper houses. The party’s low approval rating remains stagnant.

As Izumi’s tenure as party head will expire at the end of September, the party will hold a leadership election around that time.

As a veteran party member put it, many members apparently think there is a limit to how much the party can expand under Izumi’s leadership, which “relies on the opponent’s errors.” Some members reportedly expect former party head Yukio Edano and former Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to run in the election.