politics

Koike to challenge Abe with new party

44 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Thomson Reuters/AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

44 Comments
Login to comment

I think Abe didn't bank on this.  And I think Koike is going to give him a run for his money. Hopefully, she'll drop kick him into the opposition seat where he belongs.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Abe, worst nightmare just came true...Shin chan didnt see this one coming. LDP is starting to sweat bullets just about..now.

Go Go Koike....finally J public has a credible alternative to vote for. Hope LDP gets the drubbing it deserves.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Hahaha.... now watch Abe's expected 6:00 p.m. snap election announcement change to:

Abe: after carefully considering the issue for an hour after that cursed -- I mean, "popular" Koike announced she will ruin -- I mean, run against me in the next election, I have decided that since my chances are less than before to pursue my personal agendas, I will put off holding an election until a time when my resounding victory is assured, my reign will continue, and I can keep on doing as I please. Sorry... let me put that through the BS translator:... "I have considered carefully the ramifications a snap election would hold and have decided it is not in the best interests of the nation at this time."

12 ( +16 / -4 )

All cut from the same cloth.... Mr Failure Abe and Miss Delay Koike

0 ( +6 / -6 )

it's hard to say whether her popularity wll spread beyond the capitol. hashimoto, the former gov of osaka, was also wildy popular but failed when he went national. ideally, the democratic party will merge with koike's party to further their chances of ousting the ldp. but it's going to be a tough hill to climb regardless.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Nothing to be cleared this moment policies at random, for some heaven or hell, time will come and time will tell...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hope?

Yes we can!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@Aly RustomToday. I actually think it's the other way around: Koike wasn't banking on Abe calling a snap election so early, before next year's general election.

To recall, just a few weeks ago (Tokyo metropolitan elections) Abe was the wounded animal and people were already calling his political demise, with Koike's Tomin First Party becoming the main beneficiary of Abe's debacle.

I would have thought that the venue of their next contest would be chosen by the victorious Koike, not the defeated Abe. But Abe seems to have turned his ship around, first by appointing Noda/Kono, and then by deftly (to date) handling Trump and North Korea.

If the general election were held next year, the full odds were that Koike could organize nationally and could mount a a very decent challenge to the LDP. But Abe setting a snap election in a few weeks time will force Koike to rush her preparations, which is a bit difficult since after the metropolitan election she said she'd concentrate on Tokyo issues (Olympics, Tsukiji).

Koike can still do it, but I fear that Wakasa/Hosono's joint platform of a change to a unicameral parliament is not compelling enough to unite anti-LDP forces. This snap election seems like it will become a referendum on Koike.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@nakanoguy01: Unlike Hashimoto, Koike had always been a national figure (cool biz etc), and most people didn't even know that for the longest time she merely represented Ikebukuro, a rather minor constituency.

Koike is smart and she knows that picking and choosing individual politicians like Hosono is OK, whereas wholesale merging with the DP sinking ship is a NO NO.

The biggest question here is whether Komeito will support Abe/LDP nationally, or swing their national support to Koike. I'm sure Komeito is up nights gaming this. My bet is that Komeito will back Koike, mainly because the LDP is strong enough not to need Komeito, whereas Komeito's presence in the Koike camp will be highly appreciated.

In districts where Komeito decides to put up a fight, they are so disciplined not even the LDP machinery can beat them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@smithinjapan: I actually think Koike can beat the LDP in either timeframes: whether in a few weeks or in a year.

The only probably difference, from Abe/LDP's point of view, is that the LDP has less chances of beating Koike a year from now, which, I think, is one of strongest considerations that tipped Abe's hand to call for a snap election sooner rather than later.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She's one hack of a cynical politician!! Ambushing the enemy from behind! This was like straight out of the blue sky! But rather Yuriko Koike than the hawkish Abe.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

gogogo: "All cut from the same cloth.... Mr Failure Abe and Miss Delay Koike"

That's true, but she may have effectively just stolen a majority from Abe, which means, indeed, a delay in Constitutional revision, etc.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Abe knew this was coming and it's pretty smart on his part to have the election NOW rather than in another year or so, by which time Koike's party could be better entrenched.

I also hope that people don't expect too much from Koike and her new party this time around. While it raises hope for many, it's too soon for her party to garner all that many seats outside of the Tokyo area. She will be very hard pressed to field enough qualified candidates, and it would be better for her to NOT put up candidates just to be in opposition.

If she wants to stay the long run, she needs to prepare and not go off half-cocked.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"Our ideal is to proceed free of special interests,"

It would be great if the campaign concentrated on crooked Abe's dealings with his mates, especially given that he is calling the election in order to avoid having to answer questions about it in the Diet.

Also, the scandal sheets were claiming the other day that Seiko Noda's husband is a "former" gangster. I wonder how long it will take NHK to cover that story?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Don't expect anything major to change (is she did win) they are both members of the Jurassic 'Nippon Kaigi' (日本会議) and share very similar (disturbing) deep rooted nationalistic beliefs..

6 ( +8 / -2 )

She is still a member of nationalist group Nippon Kaigi (not a special interest???) along with our revisionist PM so that she might knock out the current evil is of little consequence to me. Sure it would feel good to see him handed cold defeat but if it is actual tone or policy change you hope for I'd say be prepared for a let down.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

All cut from the same cloth?

a Nippon Kaigi smokescreen?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Unlike Hashimoto, Koike had always been a national figure (cool biz etc), and most people didn't even know that for the longest time she merely represented Ikebukuro, a rather minor constituency.

a national figure maybe 10 years ago. her first stint in a cabinet position lasted about two years in 2005 when koizumi made her MoEnviroment. in 2007, abe made her MoD but she lasted less than two months. since then she has been out of the limelight, except when she ran, and failed at the hands of aso, to become head of the ldp in 2008.

the democratic party has almost twice the number of representatives as komeito in the lower house. so from a sheer numbers standpoint, it would be smart to merge with them. furthermore, komeito willingly backed koike in tokyo because they wanted to be part of the ruling bloc in tokyo. but would they give up their power at the national level to join koike? i doubt it since koike has almost no hope of unseating the ldp at the moment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think Abe didn't bank on this. 

If you mean that she would run for office next month, agree, but surely he knew that she would create her own party at some point. Dissidents forming a new political force & running for office is quite common, worked for Macron only a few months ago.

I actually think it's a smart move and that election proximity could work in her favour; no pressure whatsoever as no one expects anything from a party launched a month prior to an election. Don't think she expects to win, just want to test herself on the national stage. Nothing to lose really, pretty much any result will be deemed 'good'.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People will tune in to see how shook Abe is by her announcement.His policy pronouncements are BS anyway.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Interesting! When Abe moved up his election plans with the opposition in irresistible disarray she had to act. With so many issues in the wind she could be a voter reaction that can provide real opposition to his pledges and arrows. People can just grow tired of the same shoes after a while

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don’t understand something. What happened to Koike’s other party, the Tokyo Citizens First Party? Has that been turned into this new Hope Party or is it a separate entity?

I think she is grandstanding a bit. She has repeatedly said that her first duty is Tokyo governor and she has her hands full with the Olympics and fish market relocation. That’s where her responsibility lies. How does she even have time to form a new party?

We see this every election. I remember before the last one, there were seven opposition parties, at least three of which were formed two weeks before the election. Some got a few seats, while others got none and after the election, they dissolved.

All these opposition parties actually strengthen the LDP. Sure, Koike's announcement may rattle Abe but the LDP offers stability in the rural areas and among elderly voters, while young people couldn’t care less. You end up with candidates in new and unknown parties whom nobody really knows running in various districts. People vote for the devil they know.

There are 475 seats at stake in this lower house election. Koike can’t possibly hope to field candidates in that many seats. The Hope Party may win a few seats, but so will the Democratic Party, Japanese Communist party and all the other opposition parties. There is no way the Hope Party could win enough seats to form a majority and unseat the ruling coalition.

Former Osaka Mayor Hashimoto tried to make an impact on national politics and failed. So, too, will Koike.

Governor, please stick to running Tokyo. You already have a mess on your hands with Toyosu and the Olympics. Fix those issues first.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's good she's forming her own party, but people should know that she is also an ultra-nationalist whose policies wouldn't deviate much from the LDP. Regardless, it is critical that a strong opposition always be present in Parliament

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Her policies will probably be better than LDPs but they have the vested interests with them so it won't be easy for this Hope Party

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wouldn't take a political party with a name like that seriously...... In Japanese or English...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

wrong time and place for this kind of embarrassment for Japan. Go Abe.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It'll be interesting to see what happens with that Komeito plan for exempting loads of stuff from the consumption tax hike.

Abe says 5 trillion yen will be collected from the hike which seems like he is not counting on any such arbitrary exemptions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is Koike's feelings on North Korea? We have no idea.

What is her plan for an encroaching China? No idea.

How does she feel about the Okinawa situation? Again, no clue.

And for Fukushima and Nuclear Power? She has said little on that also.

And the economy? No idea what she'll do there either.

What do we know?

She treats Yasukuni the same as Abe.

She treats the US the same as Abe.

And she invited a bunch of locals to dance around the contaminated site of your future fish market to prove its safety.

So what, please tell me, is this holier than thou infatuation with Koike?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Infatuation ?

No..no , not infatuation .. .just a lot of hope for someone who is not beholden to all the vested interests to the same extent as LDP leadership. After winning the Tokyo election she cut her own salary in half and that of her underlings in Tokyo asembly by a third. That gesture plus her critisism of the Japan,s old boys club with LDP at its helm is enough to endear her to a lot of people.

Her policy ideas seem pragmatic and she is surrounded by a number of reform minded people who also seem to want to challenge the status quo. Only time will tell but as things are at the moment , give me a reform minded ( even if right wing leading Koike ) over Mr. empty promises Shinzo and his band of LDP oyajis any day.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Koike's popularity will not reach to rural prefectures in Japan. And other anti Abe candidates are already treating her as tool of their ambition.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

She was expert in Self Defense issues when she was a LDP member. She should formulate her plan to cope N Korea crisis.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yeah, let's create another new party and hope that will fix all problems. POH, OMG.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If her new party is a collection of DPJ deserters, the party will not stand a chance against LDP.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wow. I watched the video of the Koike's announcement. It was electrifying. She was on fire. She was like a fighter ready to knock down anybody in her way despite her smile and soft-spoken voice. Watch out, LDP! You are in trouble.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I wouldn't take a political party with a name like that seriously...

Normally so. But after listening to her announcement speech, I am convinced that it is actually very appropriated for Japan today. "What Japan lacks is hope, " she says. "That's why the name of this party is 'HOPE'." If you've lived in Japan for a few decades, you will know what it really means. It deeply touches many Japanese minds today. She knows what Japan is facing and ready to tackle.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Governor, please stick to running Tokyo...

Didn't you listen to her speech? National government is "an obstacle" to her Tokyo reform movement, she condemns. The LDP-lead Ministry of Tokyo Olympic, for example, is not only unwilling to support but try to undermine Koike's effort. Economic growth for Tokyo require de-regulations, but they are coming too little too slow. Therefore, Koike says, to actively involve national politics is a "plus" for Tokyo. In order to further Tokyo reforms, she claims, she enters into national politics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

None of this really matters. Politicians are all the same.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

She is still a member of nationalist group Nippon Kaigi ...

No, she is not. Like many others, you are confused with Nippon Kaigi Kokkai Giindan (日本会議国会議員団), which is thinly related but not Nippon Kaigi (日本会議). Besides, she is no longer a member of the latter group either; she is not even eligible to be a member because she is not a member of National Diet.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Correction: "Besides, she is no longer a member of the latter group either" to "Besides, she is no longer a member of the first group either;"

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am quite happy to see that Koike herself, not Wakasa or Hosono, took the leading position for the new party. It makes a world of difference. It is now a legitimate threat to the ruling LDP domination.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Aly RustomToday. I actually think it's the other way around: Koike wasn't banking on Abe calling a snap election so early, before next year's general election.

You're right. But her throwing her hat in the race has cast some serious doubts about his ability to capitalize on the NK crisis.

To recall, just a few weeks ago (Tokyo metropolitan elections) Abe was the wounded animal and people were already calling his political demise, with Koike's Tomin First Party becoming the main beneficiary of Abe's debacle.

Still is.

I would have thought that the venue of their next contest would be chosen by the victorious Koike, not the defeated Abe. But Abe seems to have turned his ship around, first by appointing Noda/Kono, and then by deftly (to date) handling Trump and North Korea.

Excuse me? Just how has he handled Trump and N Korea? Trump has withdrawn from the TPP in spite of ABe's best efforts. And when it comes to NK, what exactly has Abe done except to protest verbally. The J-gov couldn't even shoot the missile down.

If the general election were held next year, the full odds were that Koike could organize nationally and could mount a a very decent challenge to the LDP. But Abe setting a snap election in a few weeks time will force Koike to rush her preparations, which is a bit difficult since after the metropolitan election she said she'd concentrate on Tokyo issues (Olympics, Tsukiji).

I agree that it was a sneaky move by Abe to capitalize on the crisis, but here's the thing- the public GETS it. And they are not fooled.  This could be his undoing.

Koike can still do it, but I fear that Wakasa/Hosono's joint platform of a change to a unicameral parliament is not compelling enough to unite anti-LDP forces. This snap election seems like it will become a referendum on Koike.

If it is indeed a referendum on Koike, then she will most likely win. She is far more popular than ABe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@socrateos: No, she is not. Like many others, you are confused with Nippon Kaigi Kokkai Giindan (日本会議国会議員団), which is thinly related but not Nippon Kaigi (日本会議). Besides, she is no longer a member of the latter group either; she is not even eligible to be a member because she is not a member of National Diet.

Yes she is still a member. Look at the list of members: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_members_of_Nippon_Kaigi

0 ( +1 / -1 )

she is still a member. Look at the list of members: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_members_of_Nippon_Kaigi

No. The information in the Wikipedia is wrong.

Just look at its Japanse version of the same WikiPedia. It says 日本会議国会議員懇談会 (Nippon Kaigi Kokkai Giin Kondankai), not 日本会議 (Nippon Kaigi). So the English writer of the article was confused and did not know the difference between the two different organizations.

Secondary, the membership information is not current. You see it says "Yuriko Koike (Liberarl Democratic Party)." Hope you know what's wrong with it. Yes, she was once but not a member of LDP any more. The article displays members of past and present.

Thirdly, she cannot be and is not eligible to be a member of Nippon Kaigi Kokkai Giin Kondankai because she is not a Kokkai Giin (a member of National Diet).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To challenge Abe, she has to be elected in the lower house first.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites