Ozawa's People's Life First party disbands to join Shiga governor's new party

TOKYO —

The People’s Life First Party, established in July by Ichiro Ozawa and 48 defectors from the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), decided on Tuesday night to disband and join a new anti-nuclear party to be formed by Shiga Gov Yukiko Kada.

The party made the decision after Kada formally declared she was forming Nippon Mirai no To (Japan Future Party) at a news conference in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, on Tuesday.

Kada, 62, said her new party aims to shape the future and bring hope to the Japanese people. She said the Japan Future Party can become a true “third force” and added she hopes to unite all the groups opposed to Japan relying on nuclear power for its energy needs, TV Asahi reported. 

Kada did not say how many candidates will run in the Dec 16 election, but she herself will not run, staying on as Shiga governor. She invited like-minded people to join her crusade.

In Tokyo, main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader Shinzo Abe said the constant forming and disbanding of new parties and shifting alliances will confuse the public.

Japan Today

  • 7

    Jessica Marie Sato

    I agree... constant forming and disbanding of new parties and shifting alliances will totally confuse the already apathetic public...

  • -4

    saidani

    constant forming and disbanding of new parties and shifting alliances will totally confuse the already apathetic public...

    Or maybe wake them up and offer a real alternative to the DPJ and LDP, parties whose differences are in name only. The anti-nuke crowd is likely to take a hard look.

  • 3

    Thomas Anderson

    This is about the only true anti-nuclear party... and the major left-leaning one.

  • 3

    some14some

    Good decision by Ichiro Ozawa. JT's recent articles about women like "Japan's secret economic weapon: women." might have influenced Ozawa :) or is it that he can work better under soft image of Yukiko Kada (an elegant lady) ?!

  • 1

    Jimizo

    @Saidani I think Japanese people are a fed up of this splintering. These ad hoc alliances make the parties look what they are, rudderless and without any clear principles or vision.

  • -2

    saidani

    Jimizo Nov. 28, 2012 - 07:29AM JST

    Well, the whole election thing is a farce. The bureaucracy rules Japan as it mostly has since the Meiji Restoration. That said, Ozawa is about the only one who has mentioned reigning in the bureaucracy. The second biggest issue facing Japan is getting along with China. Again, Ozawa espouses (rightly so, IMO) of a more equal relationship with the US which will allow Japan to deal more productively with China on shared interests which do not necessarily include the US. Unfortunately, the US made sure the Hatoyama/Ozawa DPJ could not follow this idea.

    Japan needs real change, not slogans and promises that deliver nothing of value economically, politically, or regionally. The two main parties and the bureaucracy promise only the same US-led foreign policy, security policy, and (soon with the TPP) economic policy. It's time for a change that benefits the Japanese people instead of the elite in Washington, New York, and Tokyo.

  • 2

    Neil McDonald

    Watch as the LDP sweep to victory in an election with a turnout of 40% or less.

  • -1

    saidani

    Edit to correct spelling: "reining," not "reigning." Also, "The bureaucracy and its favored special interests (Japan, Inc, unions, the US, etc.) rule Japan....."

  • 3

    paulinusa

    "...will totally confuse the already apathetic public..."

    And maybe the politicians. I can see some of them waking in the morning and thinking: Now what party am I in today? Sunrise? Sunset? Future First? Force Field?

  • 4

    kurumazaka

    Not a fan of Ozawa but this is probably a good move on his part. If nothing else, Mirai tou (未来党) certainly is a better name than Kokumin no Seikatsu ga Daiichi Tou (国民の生活が第一党). Still think LDP will win handily, but any alternative to Ishihara/Hashimoto is welcome in my book.

  • 6

    Wolfpack

    In Tokyo, main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader Shinzo Abe said the constant forming and disbanding of new parties and shifting alliances will confuse the public.

    Japanese politics is a complete mess. Japan's government is in deep financial trouble and the politicians are inept and unable to deal with the nations problems.

  • 1

    volland

    Of course no one can tell how this is going to turn out, but it might be worth watching. Yes japanese are sheep, but they are not idiots. If a party turns up that actually is different, I am sure there is a chance that they will notice.

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    It's beyond comical now. Tomorrow they'll be disbanding the new party to join a new new party.

  • 2

    David Van Cleef

    I don't think Ozawa is mentally capable of playing second-fiddle to anyone. He will wind up either taking over the new party or destroying it.

  • 1

    herefornow

    Kada, 62, said her new party aims to shape the future and bring hope to the Japanese people. She said the Japan Future Party can become a true “third force”

    How many "third forces" can there be? I thought Ishihara had already staked a claim to this. Doesn't really matter how many parties there are, they are all just rearranging the deck chairs at this point. Japan is taking on water fast, and none of the parties has a clue as to how to solve the real problems, or at least not the leaderhip/guts required. Better to just talk in platitudes about "restoring the beautiful Japan" to get votes.

  • -1

    2020hindsights

    How many "third forces" can there be?

    Exactly! These are the same people that were in the old party. Same old same old. No new ideas or policies. No decisive leadership.

  • 1

    alliswellinjapan

    Understandable what Kada is doing given her environmentalist background. Clearly Ozawa is behind this up to his usual political tactics in seeking to create a sizable third force which is clearly anti-nuclear differentiating themselves from Ishin which has become all blurry essentially under an unprincipled coalition and depending solely on the popularity of Ishihara and Hashimoto. Perhaps a difficult situation for Your Party who is not joining hands with Ishin due to the differences on nuclear.

  • 3

    Thomas Anderson

    Ozawa could form a true liberal "third force" political coalition, which would be interesting.

  • 0

    shanabelle

    This election is so bizarre, parties are forming, disbanding and changing allegiences with more freqency than their canadidates changes their undies! Seriously good times for the printing/billboard making industry though(笑)

  • 3

    HollisBrown

    Japanese Politics for Dummies (i.e. wannabe politicians):

    Step 1: Create a new party just before an election based on the most popular views of the day.

    Step 2: Don't give any details of policies. You don't want to commit yourself to anything going forward.

    Step 3: Hope that a few candidates get elected.

    Step 4: Sell out yourself, all those who voted for you, and any principles you might still have, and form a coalition with the winning party - in order to 'ganbaru' for the people of Japan.

    Step 5: Agree with anything the PM says, until it's time to repeat step 1.

  • 1

    shanabelle

    Hollis, you have just summed it up perfectly!

  • 0

    gyroman

    this seems like an interesting development - from a non recognized 17th party, Kada-san has got sudden attention, plus the wily old game-maker Ozawa joins ranks. I'd lean toward this one and find out more about their poll campaign. Shame they won't let us vote, since this is so confusing to the public...

  • -4

    saidani

    HollisBrown Nov. 28, 2012 - 10:40AM JST

    In fact, Ozawa has been steadfast for two decades about his policies. His biggest problem is that neither the Japanese bureaucracy nor the US are big fans of them.

  • 1

    Rhino

    Do you have to hit them all over the head with a baseball bat before they wake up? What is wrong with these people??? Do they never look at how things are done in other countries?

    What this country needs is a "coalition of grown-ups"!!!!!!!

  • -1

    changamangaliay

    Ozawa hiding behind this lady.

  • 1

    avatarfx

    Who picks the names for these parties? They are just catchy phrases that resonate at the moment... Who's going to create the "Getting out of the economic slug and solve the pension crisis party"? That is what I would like to hear about...

  • 2

    wackness

    avatarfx - politicians don't have any time to talk about those issues, their too busy negotiating the formation of parties.

  • 0

    BertieWooster

    saidani-san,

    In fact, Ozawa has been steadfast for two decades about his policies. His biggest problem is that neither the Japanese bureaucracy nor the US are big fans of them.

    I agree.

    I've had my eye on this guy for some time. He's one of very, very few Japanese politicians with the vision to see through the bureaucracy and the U.S.A.

  • -1

    BertieWooster

    Herefornow-san,

    You write:

    How many "third forces" can there be? I thought Ishihara had already staked a claim to this.

    Note that the article states:

    She said the Japan Future Party can become a true "third force"

    To repeat, a "TRUE third force," Ishihara and his gang of rightwing ultra-nationalists are a joke.

  • 3

    Virtuoso

    I support the Niji-kai faction of the Bonenkai Party, which supports the abolition of taxes on alcoholic beverages.

  • 0

    Schopenhauer

    Hashimoto, Ishihara, Kawamura and Kada, they are all local mayors and governors. How should we interpret this?

  • 1

    JapanGal

    In Tokyo, main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader Shinzo Abe said the constant forming and disbanding of new parties and shifting alliances will confuse the public.

    Just like the changing of PMs all the time.

  • 0

    Mike Critchley

    These party names just crack me up.

    Hey, let us have a turn at bat! 外人党.

  • 1

    Serrano

    Howz about  エリアン党 ? 

  • 0

    jforce

    Sad. But I'm happy there is a woman at the helm. I wonder what scandal they'll manufacture to make her step down so Ozawa can take over.

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