Democratic Party (Japan)

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Democratic Party
民進党
Japanese name Minshintō
President Katsuya Okada
Secretary-General Yukio Edano
Founded 27 March 2016 (2016-03-27)
Merger of Democratic Party of Japan
Innovation Party
Vision of Reform
Headquarters Nagatachō, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan
Ideology Big tent
Self-described:
Liberalism
Social liberalism[1]
Political position Centre
International affiliation None
Colors      Blue
Councillors
49 / 242
Representatives
97 / 475
Website
minshin.jp

The Democratic Party (民進党 Minshintō?), abbreviated as DP, is the main opposition political party in Japan.[2] The party was founded on 27 March 2016 from the merger of the Democratic Party of Japan and the Japan Innovation Party.[3]

Etymology[edit]

The party's Japanese name Minshintō combines "min" from minshu ("democratic") and shin (?, "advance, progress"), not shin (?, "new") from ishin (innovation).[4]

History[edit]

To compete with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in the upcoming Upper House elections, on 24 February 2016 the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and Japan Innovation Party (JIP) announced that they were to merge at a special convention on 27 March to form a new opposition party.[5][6][7][8] On 4 March 2016, the DPJ and JIP asked the public for suggestions for a name for the new merged party.[9] On 14 March 2016, the name of the new party was announced as Minshintō (Democratic Progressive Party), the most popular shortlisted name among polled voters and preferred by the JIP, beating Rikken Minshutō (Constitutional Democratic Party) as preferred by the DPJ.[4] On 18 March 2016, the official English language title of the new party was announced as the Democratic Party.[10] On 22 March, the DPJ announced that 4 sitting Representatives from Vision of Reform would join the party at its launch.[11]

The new party was founded on 27 March 2016 with the leadership consisting of Katsuya Okada as party president, Yukio Edano as secretary-general and Shiori Yamao (ja) as policy chief.[12] The party platform committed to protecting the existing pacifist Japanese constitution, and stating opposition to the 'Abenomics' policies of Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.[13][14][15]

2016 House of Councillors election[edit]

The election on 10 July 2016 will be the first major election contested by the new party. The party entered the election with 62 seats in the 242-seat House, with 45 of those 62 seats being contested. During the nomination period, the party signed an agreement with the Communist, Social Democratic and People's Life parties to field a jointly-endorsed candidate in each of the 32 districts in which only one seat is contested, uniting in an attempt to take control of the House from the LDP/Komeito coalition.[16] Despite the agreement, party leader Okada stated that forming a coalition government with the Communist Party would be "impossible" in the near future due to some of the "extreme leftist policies" promoted by the JCP.[17]

The party has a total of 55 official candidates contesting the election, the same number as the DPJ in the 2013 election and the third-most behind the LDP and Communist Party,[18] consisting of 33 candidates in the single- and multi-member districts and 22 in the 48-seat national proportional representation block.[18] A further 15 independent candidates contesting single-seat districts are endorsed by the party.

Presidents of the Democratic Party[edit]

No. Name Term of office Image Election results
Took office Left office
Katsuya Okada
岡田 克也
Okada Katsuya
27 March 2016 Incumbent Minister Okada.jpg Interim President

Election results[edit]

Councillors election results[edit]

Election Leader # of seats total # of seats won # of National votes  % of National vote # of National seats won # of Prefectural votes  % of Prefectural vote # of Prefectural seats won
2016 Katsuya Okada
49 / 242
32 / 121
11,751,015[19] 21.0%
11 / 48
[20]
14,215,956[21] 25.1%
21 / 73
[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.minshin.jp/about-dp/principles, “民進党綱領” (プレスリリース), 民進党, (2016年3月27日)
  2. ^ 民進英語名、略称DPに Yomiuri Shimbun
  3. ^ http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Policy-Politics/New-opposition-party-launched-with-merger-of-DPJ-smaller-party
  4. ^ a b "Introducing Minshin To, Japan's new main opposition force". The Japan Times. Japan: The Japan Times Ltd. 14 March 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2016. 
  5. ^ "New main opposition party to be named 'Minshinto'". The Mainichi. Japan: The Mainichi Newspapers. 14 March 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2016. 
  6. ^ Osaki, Tomohiro; Yoshida, Reiji (24 February 2016). "DPJ endorses merger with Ishin no To; new party to form next month". The Japan Times. Japan: The Japan Times Ltd. Retrieved 17 March 2016. 
  7. ^ "DPJ, Japan Innovation Party to merge ahead of Upper House election". Asia & Japan Watch. Japan: The Asahi Shimbun Company. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2016. 
  8. ^ "DPJ, Ishin to merge March 27 at special convention". The Japan Times. Japan: The Japan Times Ltd. 29 February 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2016. 
  9. ^ "DPJ, Ishin no To invite entries for new party name". The Japan Times. Japan: The Japan Times Ltd. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2016. 
  10. ^ http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/03/18/national/politics-diplomacy/japan-gets-democratic-party/
  11. ^ https://www.dpj.or.jp/english/news/?num=21026
  12. ^ http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/03/27/national/politics-diplomacy/democratic-party-launches-vow-halt-ruling-coalition/#.Vvp5O_1F1Fx
  13. ^ http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201603280036.html
  14. ^ http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-03/27/c_135227248.htm
  15. ^ Introducing Minshin To, Japan’s new main opposition force
  16. ^ "Opposition parties, activists ink policy pact for Upper House election". Japan Times. 7 June 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  17. ^ Osaki, Tomohiro (21 June 2016). "Abe to 'take responsibility' if ruling bloc fails to win 61 seats in Upper House election". Japan Times. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  18. ^ a b "第3極衰退で候補者減、タレント候補10人に" [Fewer candidates with the demise of the third pole - 10 celebrity candidates] (in Japanese). Yomiuri Shimbun. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  19. ^ Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications: results of the 24th regular election of members of the House of Councillors, [national d'Hondt] proportional representation vote share by party (Japanese)
  20. ^ a b Yomiuri Shimbun: Results of regular HC election 2016 (Japanese)
  21. ^ Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications: results of the 24th regular election of members of the House of Councillors, [prefectural SNTV/FPTP] electoral district vote share by party (Japanese)

External links[edit]