Tomorrow Party about to become yesterday's party
The Nippon Mirai no To (Tomorrow Party of Japan), which was formed only a month ago with the aim of gathering anti-nuclear proponents into a viable political force, is on the verge of being dissolved.
The Tomorrow Party, founded by Shiga Gov Yukiko Kada, absorbed Ichiro Ozawa’s People’s Life First party, and ran on an anti-nuclear platform. Fifteen of the party’s 17 Diet members came from People’s Life First, including veteran upper house member Shizuka Kamei.
However, on Wednesday, Kamei said he would leave the Tomorrow Party, telling reporters at his office in Tokyo he saw no future for him in the party, TV Asahi reported. Sources claim Kamei’s move came as the result of a disagreement over the party’s management structure. Kamei told the press he would remain an independent for the time being.
Kada and former ally Ozawa are also reported to be at odds over the party’s future, media reported Thursday. According to Jiji Press, Kada wants to appoint Lower House member Tomoko Abe as co-head of the Tomorrow Party instead of Ozawa, a move which has angered Ozawa and his supporters. Sources within the party said that Ozawa has virtually been the party chief anyway, calling the shots without consulting Kada, Jiji reported.
Meanwhile, Kada, who is not a member of the Diet, told reporters that when Ozawa joined the Tomorrow Party, he agreed to be an ordinary member and not try for a leadership role, TV Asahi reported.
When she formed the Tomorrow Party in late November, Kada said she hoped the new party would shape the future and bring hope to the Japanese people. She said she wanted it to become a true “third force,” and invited like-minded people to join her crusade.
Adding to Kada’s problems is increasing criticism from her prefectural government that she has neglected her duties as governor to dabble in national politics.
At a press conference Wednesday, Kada apologized for the ongoing confusion over the future of the party, and for failing as its leader, TV Asahi reported. She said the party would most likely split up amicably by Monday.
An announcement is yet to be made on how the party members are be divided, although pundits suspect that the 17 Diet members may join yet another new party to be formed by Ozawa.