Leadership Change in Liberal Democratic Party’s Osaka Branch, Featuring Nobuyuki Baba of Japan Innovation Party | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Leadership Change in Liberal Democratic Party’s Osaka Branch, Featuring Nobuyuki Baba of Japan Innovation Party

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Representative Baba, who has been getting more and more winded of late

Criticism of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) shows no signs of stopping. According to surveys by major media outlets, their support rates have uniformly declined. This backdrop includes numerous problems arising from the Osaka-Kansai Expo. Moreover, there’s the agreement with the Liberal Democratic Party regarding amendments to the Political Funds Control Law.

Explaining this is a national newspaper’s political desk reporter.

“During negotiations over the amendment to the Political Funds Control Law, Nippon Ishin was effectively rolled over by the LDP. Despite this, party leader Nobuyuki Baba (59) and Secretary-General Fumitake Fujita (43) were visibly satisfied. Opposition party leaders were quite taken aback by this. Some legislators are openly critical of how Baba repeatedly criticizes the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.”

“Baba has made his stance against the CDPJ very clear, saying things like ‘We must crush the CDPJ,’ ‘Don’t vote for the CDPJ,’ and ‘This party is unnecessary for Japan.’ However, they suffered a complete defeat to the CDPJ in the April by-elections. There is widespread concern within the party about the upcoming general elections. Insiders from Nippon Ishin no Kai are leaking the internal situation.”

“Baba is particularly passionate about constitutional revision, and after meetings of the Constitutional Review Committee, he invariably explodes with anger towards the CDPJ. However, judging from the by-election results, his criticism of the CDPJ backfired like a boomerang. There are voices within the party saying ‘We need to somehow stop Baba’s criticism of the CDPJ.'”

Within Nippon Ishin, candidate selection is almost entirely handled by Secretary-General Fujita alone, and there’s growing anticipation for ‘Fujita leadership.’

“Some believe that Baba cannot win in the general elections with his strategy of criticizing other parties and losing support. Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura (49) is likely to leave politics after the Expo ends and his term expires. There are factions hoping for rejuvenation under Fujita’s leadership.”

There are also dark clouds over Tokyo Ishin no Kai. In the highly watched Tokyo 15th district by-election, Yui Kanazawa (33) finished third with a gap of over 20,000 votes. Policy Research Committee Chairman Shun Onkita (40) summed it up as “Tokyo Ishin no Kai’s lack of strength,” but there were reportedly considerable internal issues.

Speaking with a dismayed expression, a Tokyo Ishin no Kai insider says, “The fact that we couldn’t even field a candidate in the Tokyo governor election reflects our current situation.”

Osaka Governor Yoshimura Rumored to Retire After Expo

Tokyo Ishin no Kai insiders whisper,

“There were voices supporting Shun Onkita and Senator Hirofumi Yanagase (49) for the Tokyo governor election, but ultimately, no one was fielded. This was largely due to the devastating defeat in the 15th district by-election. Candidate Kanazawa’s campaign was frankly lacking, and there were discussions within Tokyo Ishin no Kai urging, ‘We need to get Kanazawa moving more,’ but organizationally, that didn’t happen. The shock of the defeat has had a significant impact on the governor election. Nevertheless, considering the need to increase visibility, we should have fielded a candidate. There’s dissatisfaction with Tokyo Ishin no Kai’s response, leading to a chaotic situation where individual lawmakers support candidates for the governor election.”

There’s actually movement to support candidate Shinji Ishimaru (41) at the ward and city council levels, prompting Tokyo Ishin no Kai to impose a ban on supporting other candidates. The Tokyo Ishin headquarters issued a directive under Shun Onkita’s name regarding their stance of observing quietly in the Tokyo governor election. With the party deciding not to support any candidate, allowing individuals to freely support and engage poses a challenge for organizational risk management. The party (Tokyo Ishin no Kai) institutionally decided to adopt a stance of observing quietly, where affiliated members and special party members do not support any candidate, reflecting a lack of internal governance that they themselves seem to be proclaiming.

Meanwhile, the repercussions are reaching Osaka, the heartland of the party. Members of Osaka Ishin no Kai reveal,

“Since reaching an agreement with the LDP on the amendment to the Political Funds Control Law, there have been frequent voices saying ‘I’m quitting the party’ and ‘I can’t support Ishin anymore.’ Branches are troubled to the extent that people are asking for signs and posters to be removed. We’re hearing angry voices like ‘When did we become the Osaka branch of the LDP!!’ We’re facing strong headwinds, likely affecting elections.”

For Ishin no Kai, grappling with numerous issues, it’s ironic to hear voices suggesting, “Rather than criticizing the CDPJ, we should first sort out internal control.”





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