The “Terrifying Siege of the Kishida Cabinet” by Opposition Parties & Liberal Democratic Party that Suddenly Appeared after the National Funeral
On October 4, the Kishida administration will mark one year since its inauguration. However, the celebratory mood and sense of stability that prevailed at the time of its inauguration have disappeared. The extraordinary session of the Diet, to be convened on October 3, will begin on October 11 with the Budget Committee meeting, where the opposition parties are expected to press the former Unification Church (Family Federation for World Peace and Unification) and the Tokyo Olympics slush fund issue, leaving the Kishida administration in a “sandbag” situation.
In fact, in the political world, various movements have been gaining momentum, keeping pace with the decline in the Kishida cabinet’s approval rating.
On September 21, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and The Japan Innovation Party suddenly announced that they would agree on six policies for the extraordinary Diet session. The news that the two parties, which have long been regarded as “bitter enemies,” would fight together in the Diet during the extraordinary session of the Diet (……) was greeted with surprise in Nagata-cho.
The Prime Minister’s office was not aware of the policy agreement between Ishin and Rikken, and learned of it just before the news broke. The prime minister looked surprised and nodded with a serious face, saying, ‘I see. It is clear that the extraordinary Diet session will be difficult to manage because of the Ishin’s reversal, and the warmth of the prime minister is now fading from his countenance.
The two parties have only agreed on policy, and have not yet made any progress in coordinating electoral districts between them. The level of “seriousness toward regime change” is still low. However, there is no doubt that the joint struggle between the first and second opposition parties has demonstrated that they are ready to confront the ruling party in the extraordinary Diet session.
The process has gone very smoothly.”
That is how Takashi Endo, 54, chairman of the National Diet Committee of The Japan Innovation Party, who pushed for the six policy agreements, put it. He points out that this trend was triggered by the September 1 BS Fuji program “Prime News,” which featured a discussion between Baba Nobuyuki (57), representative of the Japan Restoration Association, and Kenta Izumi (48), representative of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, and goes on to say, “As soon as the program was over, Baba immediately said, ‘I’m going to go to the Diet.
Immediately after the program, Representative Baba called me and said, ‘Representative Izumi and I have reached an agreement on the revision of the Diet Law, so you need to put it into practice on the spot immediately.
The program was a lively discussion on the revision of the Diet Law regarding the convening of the extraordinary session of the Diet. Until now, the LDP has not convened the Diet, even when a one-fourth majority of the Diet demanded it, because there is no provision for a deadline by which the Diet must be convened.
When Representative Baba called for “the Rikken to take the lead and unite the opposition parties to include a deadline for convening the Diet within a certain number of days in the Diet Law,” Representative Izumi responded. After the program, the two continued to discuss the issue, and they were able to establish a foundation for policy agreement.
Izumi said, “On the ground level, when I talked with Jun Azumi, chairman of the National Diet Committee, about the document transportation expenses issue and the bill to increase the number of constituencies by 10 and reduce it by 10, he said, ‘We’ll do it right away in the extraordinary Diet session. On the day of the announcement, I said to Mr. Azumi, ‘Let’s include economic measures for the youth.
The Japan Innovation Party was out of the framework of the opposition parties’ joint struggle and was not a ruling party, but had a special position as a third-party “yu-party” between the “yayuyo” parties.
However, on August 27, when the new Baba administration came into power, it placed priority on increasing the number of local lawmakers as it stated that it would “elect more than 600 members in the local elections next spring,” thereby turning a corner with the LDP. This move is sure to be a threat to the Kishida administration.
For nearly a decade, the Restoration Association has assisted the LDP under the Abe and Kan administrations in and out of the Diet. In other words, it has been a complementary force to the LDP. However, the Kishida administration’s move to distance itself from Kan, who has the strongest ties to the Restoration, has ended the close relationship between the LDP and the Restoration. If the Kishida administration had established a relationship with the Restoration Party while its approval rating was high, the Restoration Party would not have fought together with the Rikken.
It is not only the opposition parties. A “new threat” to Kishida’s cabinet is emerging within the ruling party as well, as former Prime Minister Kan, who delivered a eulogy on behalf of his friend at the state funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on September 27, is in the spotlight.
Yoshitake Oka’s “Aritomo Yamagata,” which was quoted in the eulogy, has been selling well. The anti-Kishida camp is now energized by the wind blowing in Kan’s favor. In particular, the Nikai faction, which had been overshadowed by the loss of the secretary-general’s post, has come back to life.
In addition, the “Tuesday Meeting,” a study group for lawmakers conducted by Digital Minister Taro Kono, has become a hot topic. This, too, may be Kono’s next move: the group is scheduled to resume on October 4, and we wonder what kind of members and how many will be in attendance. In addition to dozens of young people who have been elected four times or less, the focus is on whether former secretary-general Shigeru Ishiba and former environment minister Shinjiro Koizumi will also attend.
Prime Minister Kishida himself must have thought that mourning for former Prime Minister Abe would lead to the stabilization of his administration, but he never imagined that a new threat would be created one after another after the national funeral.
Interview and text by： Daisuke Iwasaki Photo by： AFLO