The Japan Innovation Party won 41 seats in the House of Representatives general election. In Osaka, the party’s home turf, The Japan Innovation Party won all 15 seats, a clear distinction from the LDP, which was only able to win three seats in the same district. It is inevitable that the LDP’s influence will grow in the national political arena as well.
Taku Ikeshita, a first-term Diet member who defeated Kiyomi Tsujimoto in the 10th district, commented on the document and transportation expenses paid to Diet members, saying, “Even for one day in office, one million yen is paid. It’s unthinkable by common sense,” he pointed out, which immediately led to a huge controversy involving the public. In the sense of attracting attention, this was a good start for The Japan Innovation Party, which hopes to make a rapid entry into the national arena in next year’s House of Councillors election.
However, there are some who say that a not-so-small rift is forming within the party as a result of the issue of transportation expenses. One staffer at the party’s headquarters said, “Hashimoto’s recent radical statements, which have attracted the ire of both the ruling and opposition parties, cannot be overlooked. I wonder when it will boomerang back on the party. …… In his voice, one can hear the nuance that the increase in the number of seats in the Diet has created a difference in the sense of distance between the younger members of the Diet and former Representative Toru Hashimoto.
Hashimoto has consistently said that the issue of document and transportation expenses should be addressed. In a TV program he appeared on in mid-November, he said, “The Japan Innovation Party” is not going to pay the actual expenses.
In a TV program he appeared on in mid-November, he said, “The Japan Innovation Party is better than the other parties because it discloses how it is used. When private companies reimburse actual expenses, it is normal to attach receipts, but isn’t it also important to return the money if there is any left over? However, the Japan Innovation Party discloses the contents, but does not return the money. If you ask them where they return the money, they put it in their own political organizations.
These are some of the comments he has made. He also said that The Japan Innovation Party should aim for the ideal in order to differentiate itself from other parties, but warned that “even if the current The Japan Innovation Party comes to power, it will not be able to take care of the money of the government and political parties without receipts.
However, it is said that not everyone in the party agrees with Hashimoto’s words and actions.
Some members of the party have actually taken action. A member of the House of Representatives, Yasushi Adachi, who is known as one of the party’s most knowledgeable policy experts, has been engaging in a Twitter war against Hashimoto, and the Internet has been abuzz with excitement.
A member of The Japan Innovation Party reveals.
The Japan Innovation Party has been gaining support for its political reform agenda. This is one of the reasons why it was able to win this election. However, as the parent organization has grown, a variety of opinions have emerged within the current party. The same is true for the distance to Mr. Hashimoto, especially among the first-term members of the party, who are wondering, ‘Why is Mr. Hashimoto, who has no experience in national politics, getting involved in this issue? There are still many people who think that Hashimoto’s opinion is the consensus of The Japan Innovation Party. Some people are wondering, ‘Will the flames of his comments come back to us?
In particular, since the issue of transportation expenses is a sensitive one, there was a thought that the newcomers would want to take the initiative and “take credit” for it, and some say that Mr. Hashimoto is overreacting. In other words, some members of the Diet have doubts about the current situation of The Japan Innovation Party, in which Mr. Hashimoto still has a strong influence.
Since leaving his post as the party’s representative, Hashimoto has been in such demand as a commentator that there is not a day that goes by that he is not seen on TV. At first glance, he seems to have distanced himself from the Japan Innovation Party, but even now he is said to be repeatedly meeting with party officials at important moments.
It is said that he has dinner with party leaders including Matsui, Governor Yoshimura, and co-chairman Baba Nobuyuki quite often, and is sometimes asked for his opinion in an advisory capacity. However, there are some members of the Diet who do not take kindly to this. In terms of the party’s internal appointments this time, Fumitake Fujita, who has a close relationship with Mr. Yoshimura, has been appointed as the secretary general, but there are also negative opinions about this.
In addition, there are many who say that it is time to break away from relying on Hashimoto’s influence. Now that Mr. Matsui has announced his retirement, it is understandable that he is appointing younger members, especially Mr. Yoshimura, but there are also talented members who are clearly unhappy. There is a fear that we are on the verge of an intra-party struggle like in other parties.
The reason why the party is no longer monolithic is because The Japan Innovation Party has become a “party that can win,” and a “game of musical chairs” has begun for the seats in the Diet.
The reason for this is that The Japan Innovation Party has become a “party that can win,” and a “game of musical chairs” has begun for seats in the Diet.
With such ambition and dissatisfaction swirling around, it is no wonder that the party is on edge.
The current Initiatives from Osaka has too many people who want to run for national office, partly because the wind is blowing in their favor. In fact, from the early stage of this election campaign, except for the 10th ward where Kiyomi Tsujimoto was in, the 2nd ward where Akira Sato was in, the 17th ward where Shohei Okashita was in, and the 7th ward where Takemitsu Okushita was in, the mood was for a quick and easy victory. In other words, it is not an exaggeration to say that you can win as long as you get the approval of the party. The reason why Gov. Yoshimura made an early effort to make speeches in support of other prefectures, including Tokyo, was because he could concentrate on how to increase the number of seats outside Osaka.
On the other hand, some people are concerned about the risk management of Nobuhisa Ito, a member of the Diet, whose pyramid scheme scandal was promptly reported in the Shukan Bunshun. One of the lawmakers warned that “a thorough background check is necessary” for the future of the Ishinokai.
The majority of the members who were elected this time were candidates with ample financial resources. The majority of the candidates who were elected this time had enough money to cover their expenses. In this situation, I am afraid of a scandal. In the case of the Kansai region, the media and The Japan Innovation Party are close and they may have been confident that they could suppress scandals, but this is not the case in the national arena. Mr. Hashimoto is right to feel a sense of crisis about the current Japan Innovation Party, which has many members who have not lost their local sensibilities. In anticipation of next year’s House of Councillors election and the local elections in the spring of 2011, the relationship with Hashimoto-san will continue to be important.
It is the logic of Nagatacho that increasing the number of seats in the Diet leads to the formation of factions and power struggles. The movement of The Japan Innovation Party, which became a rising dragon in this general election, will become a matter of interest for both the ruling and opposition parties.
PHOTO： Jiji Press