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Democratic Party For the People

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Democratic Party For the People
Kokumin Minshu-tō
AbbreviationDPFP or DPP
LeaderYūichirō Tamaki
Secretary-GeneralKazuya Shimba
Deputy leadersKōhei Ōtsuka
Vice leaders
  • Wakako Yada
  • Takae Itō
Founded7 May 2018 (2018-05-07)
11 September 2020 (2020-09-11) (in current form)
Merger of
Merged intoConstitutional Democratic Party of Japan (majority)
Headquarters1-11-1 Miyakezaka Building, Nagatachō, Chiyoda, Tokyo
NewspaperKokumin Minshu Press[1]
Political positionCentre to centre-right
Colors  Blue and   gold[4]
(Tsukurou, atarashii kotae, "Let's make a new answer")
(Kyuryo wo ageru. Kuni wo mamoru., "Raise salaries. Protect the country")
9 / 248
7 / 465
Prefectural assembly members
34 / 2,644
Municipal assembly members
145 / 29,135

The Democratic Party For the People[8][nb 1] (国民民主党, Kokumin Minshu-tō), abbreviated to DPFP[9] or DPP, is a centre[10][11][12] to centre-right,[13][14][15] conservative[16] political party in Japan. The party was formed on 7 May 2018 from the merger of the Democratic Party and Kibō no Tō (Party of Hope).[9] In September 2020, the majority of the party reached an agreement to merge with the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan[17] and the original party was officially dissolved on 11 September 2020. However, 14 DPFP members refused to merge, including party leader Yuichiro Tamaki, and instead formed a new party retaining the DPFP name and branding.[16][18]



On 28 September 2017, Democratic Party (DP) leader Seiji Maehara announced that the party had abandoned plans to contest the 2017 general election,[19][20] with the party's sitting representatives contesting the election as candidates for the Kibō no Tō recently founded by former Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike, or as independents.[21][22] On 23 October 2017, after the election, Maehara resigned as party president, with the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) having replaced the DP as the largest opposition party in the House of Representatives, while the existing DP caucus continued to exist in the House of Councillors.[23][24]

In January 2018, the DP and the Kibō no Tō agreed to form a joint parliamentary group in both houses of the Diet,[25] although days later the negotiations broke down.[26] On 9 April 2018, it was announced that talks were ongoing to merge the two parties into a new opposition force.[27] On 24 April 2018, at a joint press conference the leadership of the DP and the Kibō no Tō announced that both parties had agreed to merge in May 2018 as the National Democratic Party.[28] The DP and Kibō no Tō on 7 May 2018,[19] 62 members of the predecessor parties joined the DPFP at its formation.[29] adopting Democratic Party For the People as their official English language title. DP leader Kōhei Ōtsuka and Kibō leader Yūichirō Tamaki became the interim co-leaders of the new party.

The party held a leadership election in September 2018 to choose a permanent leader. Interim co-leader Tamaki was elected as the permanent leader of the party.[30]

In April 2019, the Liberal Party merged into the Democratic Party For the People.[31]

Partial merger with CDPJ


On 19 August 2020, the DPFP announced that a majority of its members would merge in September of that year with the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) and some independent lawmakers.[32] Both parties would officially be dissolved under the agreement.[22] On 10 September 2020, the new party elected Yukio Edano of the CDPJ as its leader and voted to retain the CDPJ party name. The DPFP dissolved on 11 September 2020, the day after the leader of the merged party was elected.[17] However, 14 members of the DPFP, led by Tamaki, refused to merge with the CDPJ, instead creating a new party which retained the DPFP name and branding.[33] The Tamaki-led rump DPFP contested the 2021 Japanese general election independently of the CDPJ and allies, winning 6 single-district seats and 5 proportional seats.[16]

During the course of the 2022 Japanese House of Councillors election the party was described as "cozying up" to the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).[34]

Split and criticism


Four of the party's members of the House of Representatives and one of its members of the House of Councillors split from the party to form Free Education for All in November 2023. This was due to criticism that the Democratic Party For the People is aligned with the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), such as via the DPFP cooperating with the LDP on legislation and the DPFP supporting the LDP's supplementary budget for the fiscal year 2024.[35][36][37]

Party leader Yuichiro Tamaki has been described as "indecisive" on the choice of either joining the government fully or staying in the opposition. As an example, the DPFP has often times joined in negotiations with the government to raise wages and has often-times attacked other opposition parties, such as the Japanese Communist Party and the CDP at times, but has also proven to be open to cooperation, witnessed in it pulling its candidates shortly before the April by-elections in three House of Representative wards. Such indecisiveness has been described as a possible reason for Deputy Leader Kohei Otsuka leaving the party.[38]



A self-proclaimed "reformist centrist" party,[39] it enumerated freedom, symbiosis and responsibility for the future in its basic philosophy and self-proclaimed the establishment of a "Reformist-Centrist Party" (改革中道政党, Kaikaku-chūdō seitō) based on these philosophies.[39] Otsuka said that the term "Reformist-Centrist Party" describes the attitude and spirit of the DPP that thoroughly adheres to a democratic approach to realistically reform/solve various issues.[40]

The DPFP defines it as "a reform centrist party led by people ranging from moderate-conservatives and liberals". However, unlike the old DPFP, the new DPFP is considered conservative.[16]

The DPFP officially promoted diplomatic pacifism, constitutionalism and sustainable development.[39]


Position Name
Leader Yūichirō Tamaki
Deputy leader Kōhei Ōtsuka
Vice leaders Wakako Yada
Takae Ito
Secretary-General Kazuya Shimba
Deputy Secretary-General Shūhei Kishimoto
General Affairs chief Takae Ito
Diet Affairs Committee chief Motohisa Furukawa
Election Campaign Committee chief Shūhei Kishimoto
Policy Affairs Research Council chief Yasue Funayama
Source: [1]


No. Name Constituency / title Term of office Image Election results Prime Minister (term)
Took office Left office
Preceding parties: Democratic Party (2016) (centre), Kibō no Tō (centre-right), and Liberal Party (2016) (centre-left)
1 Co-leadership
Kohei Otsuka
Yuichiro Tamaki
Cou for Aichi
Rep for Kagawa 2nd
7 May 2018 4 September 2018
Kibō; 2017
Abe S. 2012–20
2 Yuichiro Tamaki Rep for Kagawa 2nd 4 September 2018 11 September 2020
Yuichiro Tamaki – 204
Keisuke Tsumura – 74
Successor parties: Constitutional Democratic Party (centre-left) and Democratic Party For the People (centre-right)
1 Yuichiro Tamaki Rep for Kagawa 2nd 11 September 2020 Incumbent
Yuichiro Tamaki – 65
Takae Ito – 26
Yuichiro Tamaki – 80
Seiji Maehara – 31
Abe S. 2012–20
Suga 2020–2021
Kishida 2021–present

Election results


House of Representatives

House of Representatives
Election Leader Candidates Seats Position Constituency votes PR Block votes Government
No. ± Share Number % Number %
2021 Yuichiro Tamaki 27
11 / 465
2.4% 5th 1,246,812 2.17% 2,593,396 4.51% Opposition

House of Councillors

House of Councillors
Election Leader Candidates Seats Position Constituency votes PR Block votes Status
Won ± Share Not up Total[a] No. Share No. Share
2019 Yuichiro Tamaki
6 / 124
4,83% 15
21 / 248
6th 3,256,859 6.47% 3,481,078 6.95% Opposition
Successor parties: Constitutional Democratic Party (centre-left) & Democratic Party For the People (centre-right)
2022 Yuichiro Tamaki 22
5 / 125
4% 5
10 / 248
6th 2,038,655 3.83% 3,159,657 5.96% Opposition

See also



  1. ^ 機関紙「国民民主プレス」 [Newspaper "KOKUMIN MINSHU PRESS"]. dpfp.or.jp (in Japanese). 15 May 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  2. ^ "「野党共闘の必要性は変わらず」参院選に向け、地域ごとの柔軟な戦略を 法政大の山口二郎教授に聞く:東京新聞 TOKYO Web". 東京新聞 TOKYO Web (in Japanese). Retrieved 2024-04-29.
  3. ^ "共産主義と決別「改革中道」の決意! 玉木雄一郎氏インタビュー 新・国民民主党の同志は約10人". zakzak:夕刊フジ公式サイト (in Japanese). 2020-08-29. Retrieved 2024-04-29.
  4. ^ 国民民主党のロゴを発表 [Announced the DPFP logotype.]. dpfp.or.jp (in Japanese). Democratic Party For the People. May 21, 2018. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  5. ^ 新・国民民主党 - つくろう、新しい答え。 [New Democratic Party For the People - Let's make a new answer.]. new-kokumin.jp (in Japanese). 9 May 2022. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  6. ^ 新・国民民主党 - つくろう、新しい答え。 [New Democratic Party For the People - Let's make a new answer.]. new-kokumin.jp (in Japanese). 14 April 2023. Retrieved 14 April 2023.
  7. ^ a b c d "議員". Democratic Party For the People Official Website. Retrieved 7 December 2023.
  8. ^ Tomohiro Osaki (26 April 2018). "Abe denies rumors he's planning to call snap election". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  9. ^ a b Yoshida, Reiji (7 May 2018). "Rock bottom in opinion polls, Japanese opposition parties Kibo no To and Democratic Party decide to merge". Japan Times. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  10. ^ Sieg, Linda (26 August 2018). "Japanese PM Abe seen headed for extended term despite policy doubts". Reuters. Archived from the original on 21 October 2019. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  11. ^ McCurry, Justin (8 November 2018). "The changing face of Japan: labour shortage opens doors to immigrant workers". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  12. ^ Harding, Robin (5 November 2018). "Japan demand for labour sparks immigration debate". Financial Times. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  13. ^ "Japan". Freedom in the World. Freedom House. 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-11-30. Retrieved 2020-02-15.
  14. ^ "Merger of Japan opposition parties remains elusive as DPP lawmakers balk at immediate action". The Japan Times. 21 January 2020. Retrieved 21 February 2020. While the CDP, a center-left party, is united on the merger idea, the DPP, a center-right party, was divided even before Monday's developments.
  15. ^ "Japan's ruling conservatives have been returned to power, but amid voter frustration, challenges lurk for Kishida". The Conversation. 1 November 2021. Retrieved 13 November 2021. The main opposition, the centrist Constitutional Democratic Party, lost 13 seats, to end up with 96. Other smaller opposition parties only shifted slightly, with the Japanese Communist Party dropping two to ten, and the centre-right Democratic Party For the People gaining three to reach 11.
  16. ^ a b c d Robert J. Pekkanen; Steven R. Reed (2022). "The Opposition in 2021: A Second Party and a Third Force". In Robert J. Pekkanen; Steven R. Reed; Daniel M. Smith (eds.). Japan Decides 2021: The Japanese General Election. Springer Nature. p. 66. ISBN 978-3-03-111324-6.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ "Japan's opposition DPP party to split as merger talks hit impasse". The Japan Times. 12 August 2020. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  19. ^ a b Harding, Robin (28 September 2017). "Japan's Party of Hope to dissolve just months after its creation". Financial Times.
  20. ^ "Japan's Koike wins over more key politicians". Nikkei Asian Review.
  21. ^ Yoshida, Reiji (28 September 2017). "Democratic Party effectively disbands, throwing support behind Koike's party for Lower House poll" – via Japan Times Online.
  22. ^ a b Arthur Stockwin (2023). The Failure of Political Opposition in Japan: Implications for Democracy and a Vision of the Future. Taylor & Francis. p. 97. ISBN 9781000593747.
  23. ^ "CDP looking for allies; Koike won't step down; Maehara to quit". Archived from the original on 2017-10-24. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  24. ^ "Shattered Democratic Party to remain, pick new leader:The Asahi Shimbun". Archived from the original on 2017-10-26. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  25. ^ Osaki, Tomohiro (15 January 2018). "Japanese opposition parties DP and Kibo no To agree to join forces" – via Japan Times Online.
  26. ^ "Alliance negotiations between two Japanese opposition parties break down". 17 January 2018 – via Japan Times Online.
  27. ^ "Japan's Democratic Party and Kibo no To launch merger talks". 10 April 2018. Archived from the original on 22 April 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018 – via Japan Times Online.
  28. ^ Jiji Press (25 April 2018). "DP, Kibo to merge into new party as early as May 7". Yomiuri Shimbun. Archived from the original on 26 April 2018. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  29. ^ "New opposition party lacking in numbers after 2 parties merge". Asahi Shimbun. 7 May 2018. Archived from the original on 13 July 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  30. ^ Kawai, Tatsuro (4 September 2018). "Tamaki chosen to lead DPP; vows to confront Abe government". Asahi Shimbun. Archived from the original on 5 September 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  31. ^ "Democratic Party For the People, Japan's second-largest opposition force, absorbs Ozawa's Liberals". The Japan Times. 26 April 2019. Archived from the original on 27 April 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  32. ^ "Japan's largest opposition parties to merge in September". The Asahi Shimbun. 2020-08-20. Retrieved 2020-08-25.
  33. ^ Sugiyama, Satoshi (2020-08-19). "Japan's DPP approves CDPJ merger as snap poll speculation grows". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2020-08-25.
  34. ^ "Japan's LDP wins big in upper house election after ex-PM Abe's death". The Mainichi. 11 July 2022. Archived from the original on 10 July 2022. Retrieved 11 July 2022.
  35. ^ "Former Foreign Minister Maehara to form new party". The Japan Times. 2023-11-30. Retrieved 2023-11-30.
  36. ^ "Veteran Maehara quits DPP to form new party for free education | The Asahi Shimbun: Breaking News, Japan News and Analysis". The Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved 2023-11-30.
  37. ^ "DPFP's Maehara, 3 Others to Leave Party". nippon.com. 2023-11-30. Archived from the original on 2023-12-02. Retrieved 2023-11-30.
  38. ^ "国民民主が立ち位置に苦慮…賃上げは政府と連携、衆院補選では立民に接近". yomiuri. Yomiuri Shimbun. 14 March 2024. Retrieved 20 March 2024.
  39. ^ a b c 綱領 (in Japanese). Democratic Party For the People. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  40. ^ "【大塚耕平共同代表インタビュー】 国民民主党が目指す改革中道政党とは" (Press release) (in Japanese). DPFP. 5 July 2018. Retrieved February 29, 2020.


  1. ^ The Upper house is split in two classes, one elected every three years.
  1. ^ Also translatable as "National Democratic Party".