For the first time in 20 years, there is a crack in the relationship between the “LDP” and “Komeito”… “LDP bigwigs” are in danger of losing their elections due to the dissolution of electoral cooperation. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

For the first time in 20 years, there is a crack in the relationship between the “LDP” and “Komeito”… “LDP bigwigs” are in danger of losing their elections due to the dissolution of electoral cooperation.

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Prime Minister Kishida was gaining momentum after his visit to South Korea and the G7 summit. …… (Photo: Takeshi Kinugawa)

The “10 more, 10 less” constituencies for the lower house election will add five more constituencies in Tokyo. Therefore, Komeito expressed its intention to field candidates in Tokyo’s 28 wards, but negotiations broke down when the LDP refused to recognize both candidates. Komeito was forced to abandon the idea of fielding a candidate in Tokyo’s 28th ward.

In response, Keiichi Ishii, 65, secretary general of the Kōmeitō, told Toshimitsu Mogi, secretary general of the LDP, and others to their faces that “trust between the LDP and Kōmeitō has fallen to the ground,” thus showing a crack in the relationship that has existed between the LDP and the public since the end of World War II.

The LDP also reacted sharply to Komeito’s statement. A former cabinet member with inside knowledge of the situation said, “Aso, Mogi, and Hagiwada will not back down one step. They are going at it head-to-head.

However, if they no longer receive the endorsement of the New Kōmeitō Party, LDP candidates may be in danger of losing elections in the five or so electoral districts that have been closely contested by opposition party candidates in the past. Furthermore, LDP bigwigs such as Kōichi Hagiuda, chairman of the policy research council, Masanobu Ogura, minister of state for special missions in the Cabinet Office, and Hirofumi Shimomura, former minister of education and science, could also lose their elections, depending on the opposition candidate.

Why is this?

This is the first time in the more than 20 years since the formation of the LDP-public coalition partnership that there has been such a major crack in the LDP-public relationship. Komeito said

Komeito will not endorse LDP candidates in the Tokyo primary elections.
Komeito will not cooperate with the LDP in elections for the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly and the Tokyo metropolitan assembly.
“Komeito will no longer cooperate with the LDP in the Tokyo metropolitan assembly and mayoral elections.

A cabinet source close to the Kōmeitō said, “Ever since the LDP and Kōmeitō formed a coalition in 1999, Kōmeitō has been seriously angry, and the dissolution of the coalition is on the table.

The reason for Komeito’s anger to this extent is not only the issue of Tokyo’s 28 wards. The first reason is probably the fact that the former Unification Church has been taken up by the public as a social issue, and the Komeito, which has the Soka Gakkai religious organization as its main body of support, was placed in a difficult position. There was no doubt that Komeito was not amused, with various light-hearted comments being made by LDP heavyweights and militants, such as, “Wouldn’t it be better to dissolve the coalition with Komeito?

Differences have also arisen over constitutional reform, which has been a long-held desire of Prime Minister Abe. Prime Minister Kishida has expressed a strong desire to revise the Constitution, and discussions by the Constitutional Review Commission are progressing, but many LDP lawmakers cannot hide their frustration at Komeito’s cautious stance.

As these small problems accumulated, the current issue of Tokyo’s 28 wards must have caused the anger to erupt like a magma.

In the second half of the unification election held in Tokyo in April, Komeito, the ever-victorious party that never loses a single candidate, unexpectedly lost four candidates in the Nerima ward assembly election. At that time, a leading LDP official said, “Komeito is getting old. The Komeito party, sparked by unprecedented anger and fire at the words, “Maybe it’s time to dissolve the coalition,” fielded 13 candidates in the May 21 Adachi ward assembly election, and all 13 were elected.

On the other hand, the LDP, which was on a roll after the nation’s excitement over Biden and Zelensky’s visit to Japan at the G7, unexpectedly lost seven members (including five incumbents), and only 12 were elected. In the Adachi Ward Assembly, the Komeito party overtook the LDP seats to become the leading party. This was truly Komeito’s “angry revenge for Adachi.

The issue of Tokyo’s 28 wards will cause a major battle in the capital as Komeito withdrew its endorsement of the LDP candidate for the next lower house election. In Tokyo, the number of constituencies was increased by 5 with “10 up, 10 down,” bringing the number of constituencies to 30. Depending on the situation in each constituency, Komeito has so far recommended LDP candidates, and in some cases, Komeito has around 20,000 votes riding on LDP candidates in each constituency.

While Komeito is really angry, the LDP is not backing down a step. Politics is only about results. Depending on the outcome of the next lower house election, which is rumored to be dissolved by the end of this year, Japanese politics will change drastically. Will Komeito gain seats and the LDP lose seats? Or will the LDP defend its seats and Komeito lose seats? Either way, the next general election will greatly change the balance of power between the LDP and Kōmeitō, and we may be heading toward a countdown to the dissolution of the coalition. The true strength of the LDP is now being tested.

  • Interview and text by Takeshi Onishi PHOTO Takeshi Kinugawa

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