Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan

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Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan
立憲民主党 or 立民党
Rikken-minshutō or Ritsumintō
LeaderYukio Edano
Deputy LeaderHirofumi Hirano
Kenji Eda
Secretary-GeneralTetsurō Fukuyama
Councillors LeaderShunichi Mizuoka
Founded3 October 2017; 4 years ago (2017-10-03)
15 September 2020; 13 months ago (2020-09-15)[a]
Dissolved14 September 2020[a]
Merger ofDemocratic Party for the People (majority faction)
Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan[a]
Split fromDemocratic Party (2016)[a]
Headquarters2-12-4 Fuji Building 3F, Hirakawa-chō,
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0093, Japan
Political positionCentre-left[6][8]
International affiliationCouncil of Asian Liberals and Democrats (observer)[9]
Colors  Blue[10]
SloganAnata no tame no seiji'[11]
("Politics for you")
44 / 245
110 / 465
Local (Prefectural and Local) assembly members
1,244 / 32,430

The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (立憲民主党, Rikken-minshutō); CDP), sometimes abbreviated to Minshutō (民主党),[12] is a centre-left political party in Japan.[13] The party was founded in October 2017 as a split from the Democratic Party ahead of the 2017 general election. In late 2020, the party was re-founded following a merger with majorities of the Democratic Party for the People and the Social Democratic Party as well as some independent lawmakers. As of 2021 the CDP is considered the primary opposition party in Japan and is the second largest party in the National Diet behind the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.[14] The party is led by Yukio Edano.


CDP headquarters in Hirakawa-chō, Tokyo.
Party logo, 2017–2020

Formation and 2017 election[edit]

The party was formed from a centre-left split from the opposition Democratic Party (DP) in the run up to the 2017 general election.[15][13][16] Prior to the election on 28 September 2017, the DP House of Representatives caucus dissolved in order for party members to stand as candidates for Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike's Party of Hope or as independents in the upcoming election.[17]

The new party was launched on 2 October by DP deputy leader Yukio Edano at a press conference in Tokyo for liberals and left-leaning members of the DP who do not wish to, or were rejected for, contesting the election as candidates for the Party of Hope.[18][19]

On 3 October 2017, it was announced that the new party would not contest seats where former Democrats were running as Party of Hope candidates,[20] a gesture which was not returned when the Party of Hope ran a candidate in Edano's incumbent district. The Japanese Communist Party, in turn, pulled their own candidate from running in Edano's district so as to not take away votes from him.[21] The party won a total of 55 seats,[13] becoming the leading opposition party and leading the pacifist bloc (including the JCP and Social Democratic Party) to become the largest opposition bloc.

2020 merger[edit]

On 19 August 2020, the CDP announced that it would merge with the majority of the Democratic Party for the People (DPP) as well as some independent Diet members in September of that year.[22]

On 10 September 2020, the new party elected Edano as leader and also voted to retain the CDP name.[8] Following the merger, the new CDP had a total of 149 members and held 107 seats in the House of Representatives, compared to 156 members and 96 seats held by the Democratic Party in 2016. The independents who joined the CDP in this merger included former Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. Several conservative DPP members, including DPP president Yuichiro Tamaki, did not join the CDP and instead formed their own party.[14]

On 14 November 2020, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) voted to agree to a merger arrangement with the CDP, allowing SDP members to leave the party and join the CDP. However, SDP leader Mizuho Fukushima was opposed to the merger agreement and as a result remains in the Social Democratic Party.[23]


The party opposes the proposed revision of Article 9 of Japan's postwar constitution.[13][24][25] The party supports the phasing out of nuclear energy in Japan,[26] and government investment in renewable energy.[27] The party does not support the legalization and maintenance of casinos.[28] The party also supports "building a society that supports each other and makes full use of individuality and creativity."[29][30] and this party expresses its support for grassroots democracy and diplomatic pacifism.[31]

The party supported a freeze in the increase of the consumption tax as of 2017,[32][33] and supports a temporary consumption tax cut as of 2020, along with higher taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals.[14]

The party supports LGBT rights and the legalization of same-sex marriage in Japan.[34]


Position Name
Leader Yukio Edano
Deputy leader
Policy Affairs Research Council chief
Akira Nagatsuma
Vice leader
Election Campaign Committee chief
Shōichi Kondō
Vice leader
General Affairs Committee chief
Takahiro Sasaki
Vice leader
Councillors caucus chief secretary
Renhō Saitō
Councillors caucus leader
Tetsurō Fukuyama
Deputy Secretary-General Yukihiko Akutsu
Policy Affairs Research Council deputy chief Seiji Ōsaka
Chinami Nishimura
Policy Affairs Research Council first vice chief Yōichirō Aoyagi
Diet Affairs Committee chief Kiyomi Tsujimoto
Diet Affairs Committee deputy chief Kōichi Yamauchi
Diet Affairs Committee first vice chief Yoshio Tezuka
Councillors Affairs Committee chief Masayoshi Nataniya
Board of Governors chief Hiroshi Kawauchi
Joint House General Council chief Satoshi Arai
Parliamentary Association chief Katsuhiko Yokomitsu


No. Name
Constituency / title Term of office Election results Image Prime Minister (term)
Took Office Left Office
Split from: Democratic Party (2016) (centre-left)
Merger of: Democratic Party for the People (centre-right; majority faction)
1 Yukio Edano
(b. 1964)
Rep for Saitama 5th 2 October 2017 Incumbent
Yukio Edano – 107
Kenta Izumi – 42
Yukio Edano In front of Tenjin Twin Building (2020.10.18).jpg Abe S. 2012–20
Suga 2020–2021
Kishida 2021–present

Election results[edit]

House of Representatives election results[edit]

Election Leader Candidates Seats won Constituency votes Constituency vote percentage PR Block votes PR Block vote percentage Status
2017 Yukio Edano 78
55 / 465
4,852,097 8.75% 11,084,890 19.88% Opposition

House of Councillors election results[edit]

Election Leader Seats Nationwide Prefecture Status
Total Won Votes % Votes %
2019 Yukio Edano
32 / 245
17 / 124
7,951,430 15.79 7,917,720 15.81 Opposition

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d The "old CDP" was founded on 3 October 2017[1] as a split from the Democratic Party and dissolved on 14 September 2020,[2] while the current party was founded on 15 September 2020[3] as a merger of the old CDP, the majority of the Democratic Party for the People and some independent lawmakers.
  2. ^ Held after the merger with the Democratic Party for the People.


  1. ^ "政治資金規正法に基づく政治団体の届出" (PDF). Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (in Japanese). 2017-10-03.
  2. ^ "政治資金規正法及び政党助成法に基づく政党の解散の届出" (PDF). Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (in Japanese). 2020-09-14.
  3. ^ "政治資金規正法に基づく政治団体の届出" (PDF). Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (in Japanese). 2020-09-15.
  4. ^ 機関紙「立憲民主」のご案内 [Information of the newspaper "Rikken-minshu"]. (in Japanese). Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Japan opposition parties' failing merger bid offers glimpse into divisions". The Japan Times. 17 January 2020.
  6. ^ a b Spremberg, Felix (25 November 2020). "How Japan's Left is repeating its unfortunate history". International Politics & Society Journal. Retrieved 28 February 2021. The new party programme is still decidedly left-liberal
  7. ^ "Edano to form Constitutional Democratic Party". NHK World. NHK. 2 October 2017. Archived from the original on 25 October 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  8. ^ a b Johnston, Eric (2020-09-10). "Yukio Edano elected chief of new CDP, Japan's top opposition party". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  9. ^ "Japan's Main Opposition Party Joins CALD as Observer". July 3, 2020. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  10. ^ 日本に定着するか、政党のカラー [Will the colors of political parties settle in Japan?] (in Japanese). Nikkei, Inc. 21 October 2017. Retrieved 23 September 2019. 立憲民主党は青だ。 [Constitutional Democratic Party is blue.]
  11. ^ (in Japanese) Retrieved 3 December 2020. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ 民主党 (Minshutō) was the original name of the Democratic Party. The CDP has reused that for their official abbreviated name.
  13. ^ a b c d William D. Hoover, ed. (2018). Historical Dictionary of Postwar Japan. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 61. ISBN 978-1-5381-1156-7.
  14. ^ a b c Kuronuma, Susumu (2020-09-11). "Japan's fractured opposition unites as party of 140-plus lawmakers". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  15. ^ "New centre-left party launched in Japan ahead of vote". Channel News Asia. 2 October 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  16. ^ "2017 Lower House Election / Edano announces launch of new party of liberals". The Yomiuri Shimbun. Archived from the original on 2017-10-02. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
  17. ^ Yoshida, Reiji (28 September 2017). "Democratic Party effectively disbands, throwing support behind Koike's party for Lower House poll" – via Japan Times Online.
  18. ^ "Major opposition's liberal wing to form new group". Kyodo News. 2 October 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  19. ^ "VOTE 2017: Edano plans to form new party as liberal force in election:The Asahi Shimbun".
  20. ^ "Koike's party unveils 1st list of 192 candidates for upcoming election". Japan Today. 4 October 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  21. ^ "Yukio Edano: Japan's opposition leader to watch". Nikkei Asian Review. October 22, 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  22. ^ "Japan's largest opposition parties to merge in September". The Asahi Shimbun. 2020-08-20. Retrieved 2020-08-25.
  23. ^ "Social Democratic Party to split; most Diet members to join CDPJ". The Japan Times. 25 February 2018. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  24. ^ Yoshida, Reiji (16 October 2017). "Edano taking center stage as CDP gains momentum" – via Japan Times Online.
  25. ^ Sieg, Linda (17 October 2017). "Underdog centre-left party may outperform expectations in Japan snap poll". Reuters.
  26. ^ "2017 Lower House Election / Parties debate whether, when to bring N-plants back online". The Yomiuri Shimbun. 17 October 2017. Archived from the original on 21 October 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  27. ^ "It's not enough for political parties to merely tout economic catchwords". The Yomiuri Shimbun. 18 October 2017. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  28. ^ Archived copy 立憲民主党 基本政策, 2017-12-28, archived from the original on 2018-02-15, retrieved 2018-01-14CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^ 毎日新聞 (2017-10-07), 【ノーカット】党首討論会@日本記者クラブ, retrieved 2017-12-06
  30. ^ "CDF Pamphlet" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-10-08. Retrieved 2017-10-28. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  31. ^ 立憲民主党 政策パンフレット (PDF). 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 October 2017.
  32. ^ "Edano's new party may outperform expectations in Sunday's election". Japan Today. 18 October 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  33. ^ "2017 Lower House Election / Voters not impressed". The Economist. 19 October 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  34. ^ "Opposition party in Japan pledges to protect LGBT rights".

External links[edit]