Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan

Summary

The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (立憲民主党, Rikken-minshutō, CDP[10] or CDPJ[11]) is a liberal[12] political party in Japan. It is the primary centre-left party in Japan,[13][14] and as of 2024 is the second largest party in the National Diet behind the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.[15]

Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan
立憲民主党
Rikken-minshutō
AbbreviationCDP or CDPJ
LeaderKenta Izumi
Deputy LeaderSeiji Osaka
Chinami Nishimura
Kiyomi Tsujimoto
Secretary-GeneralKatsuya Okada
Chairman of the Policy BureauAkira Nagatsuma
FounderYukio Edano
Founded3 October 2017; 6 years ago (2017-10-03)
15 September 2020; 3 years ago (2020-09-15)[a]
Merger of
Split fromDemocratic Party (2016)[a]
Preceded byConstitutional Democratic Party of Japan[a]
Headquarters2-12-4 Fuji Building 3F, Hirakawa-chō,
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0093, Japan
NewspaperRikken-minshu[4]
Youth wingRikkenYouth[5]
Membership (2021)100,267[6]
Ideology
Political positionCentre to centre-left
International affiliationCouncil of Asian Liberals and Democrats (observer)
Colors  Blue[7]
Slogan人へ 未来へ まっとうな政治へ
Hitoe Miraie Mattouna Seijie[8]
("For people, for the future, for honest politics.")
Councillors
38 / 248
Representatives
95 / 465
Prefectural assembly members
37 / 2,598
Municipal assembly members[9]
1,271 / 32,430
Election symbol
Website
  • Japanese
  • cdp-japan.jp
  • English
  • cdp-japan.jp/english Edit this at Wikidata

It was founded in October 2017 as a split from the Democratic Party ahead of the 2017 general election.[13] In late 2020, the party was re-founded following a merger with majorities of the Democratic Party for the People and the Social Democratic Party as well as some independent lawmakers.

The party's platform supports raising the minimum wage, expanded welfare policies, the legalization of same-sex marriage, increased gender equality, abortion rights,[16] renewable energy policies, decentralization, a multilateral foreign policy, the revision of the U.S.–Japan Status of Forces Agreement, tax reform and electoral reform. [17] The party strongly opposes efforts to amend the Japanese Constitution to reinterpret Article 9 or codify the status of the Japan Self-Defense Forces and also opposes nuclear power.

History edit

 
The first CDP headquarters in Hirakawa-chō, Tokyo.

Formation and 2017 election edit

 
Alternative CDPJ logo

The party was formed in the run up to the 2017 general election from a split of the centre-left wing of the opposition Democratic Party (DP).[18][19][20][21] Prior to the election on 28 September 2017, the DP House of Representatives caucus dissolved in order for party members to stand as candidates for Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike's Party of Hope or as independents in the upcoming election.[22]

The new party was launched on 2 October 2017 by DP deputy leader Yukio Edano at a press conference in Tokyo for liberals and left-leaning members of the DP who do not wish to, or were rejected for, contesting the election as candidates for the Party of Hope.[23][24]

On 3 October 2017, it was announced that the new party would not contest seats where former Democrats were running as Party of Hope candidates,[25] a gesture which was not returned when the Party of Hope ran a candidate in Edano's incumbent district. The Japanese Communist Party (JCP), in turn, pulled their own candidate from running in Edano's district so as to not take away votes from him.[26] The party won a total of 55 seats,[20] becoming the leading opposition party and leading the pacifist bloc (including the JCP and Social Democratic Party) to become the largest opposition bloc.

In July 2020, the CDP became an observer affiliate of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats.[27]

2020 merger and refoundation edit

On 19 August 2020, the CDP announced that it would merge with the majority of the Democratic Party for the People (DPP) as well as some independent Diet members in September of that year.[28]

On 10 September 2020, the new party elected Edano as leader and also voted to retain the CDP name.[29] Following the merger, the new CDP had a total of 149 members and held 107 seats in the House of Representatives, compared to 156 members and 96 seats held by the Democratic Party in 2016. The independents who joined the CDP in this merger included former Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. Several conservative DPP members, including DPP president Yuichiro Tamaki, did not join the CDP and instead continued to lead a rump DPP independent of the CDP.[30][15]

On 14 November 2020, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) voted to agree to a merger arrangement with the CDP, allowing SDP members to leave the party and join the CDP.[31] However, SDP leader Mizuho Fukushima was opposed to the merger agreement and as a result remained in the Social Democratic Party.[31]

The CDP contested the 2021 general election in an electoral pact co-operating with the JCP, Reiwa Shinsengumi and continuing DPP and SDP parties in fielding single opposition candidates in single-seat constituencies.[32] Edano resigned as party leader following the election on 2 November 2021, due to poorer than expected electoral results in which the CDP fell from 110 to 96 seats.[33][34]

Kenta Izumi was elected as the leader of the CDP in the 2021 Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan leadership election on 30 November 2021. Formerly a member of the DPP, he said that the two parties are regarded by the public as "close" and "thought to be like brothers" and "expressed support for a tie-up" between the two.[39]

Ideology and platform edit

The CDP has been described as liberal[40][12] and social-liberal,[41] and in favour of constitutionalism.[42] The party has also been described as progressive[43][44] and centre-left,[20][19][45] and following its enlargement in 2020 has variously been described as liberal,[30] centrist,[46] or centre-left.[13][14] Within the CDP, as with its predecessor the Democratic Party of Japan, there are conservative politicians,[b] as well as politicians from social-democratic backgrounds.[47][48][49]

At launch in 2017, the CDP opposed the proposed revision of Article 9 of Japan's postwar constitution.[20][50][51] The party supports the phasing out of nuclear energy in Japan,[52] and government investment in renewable energy.[53] The party does not support the legalization and maintenance of casinos.[54] The party also supports "building a society that supports each other and makes full use of individuality and creativity."[55][56] In their 2017 political programme, the party expressed support for grassroots democracy and diplomatic pacifism.[57] The CDP has expressed negative views about the Statue of Peace and has called on the South Korean government to remove the Statue of Peace.[58][failed verification]

In 2019, the party pledged to support LGBT rights and the legalization of same-sex marriage in Japan,[59] and in March 2023, promoted a parliamentary bill for Japan to legally recognise such couplings.[60]

The party supported a freeze in the increase of the consumption tax as of 2017,[61][62] and supports a temporary consumption tax cut as of 2020, along with higher taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals.[15] In the run-up to the 2021 general election, party leader Edano stated his party's support for redistribution of wealth.[63] The 2021 election platform also offered support for progressive taxation, a pledge for additional welfare payments for citizens on low incomes, and raising the capital gains tax rate to 25% by 2023.[64]

Leadership edit

As of February 2, 2024.[65][66][67][68][69]

Position Name
Leader Kenta Izumi
Deputy Leader Seiji Osaka
Chinami Nishimura
Kiyomi Tsujimoto
Secretary-General Katsuya Okada
Chairman of the Policy Bureau Akira Nagatsuma
Election Campaign Committee chief Hiroshi Ogushi
Diet Affairs Committee chief Jun Azumi
Joint House General Council chief Ryūhei Kawada

List of the Leaders edit

No. Leader
(birth–death)
Constituency Took office Left office Election results Prime Minister (term)
Split from: Democratic Party (2016) (centre-left)
1 Yukio Edano
(b. 1964)
  Rep for Saitama 5th 3 October 2017 14 September 2020
2017
Unopposed
Abe S. 2012–20
Merger of: Democratic Party for the People (centre-right; majority faction) & Some Independents Group
1 Yukio Edano
(b. 1964)
  Rep for Saitama 5th 15 September 2020 12 November 2021
2020[c]
Yukio Edano – 107
Kenta Izumi – 42
Abe S. 2012–20
Suga 2020–21
Kishida 2021–present
2 Kenta Izumi
(b. 1974)
  Rep for Kyoto 3rd 30 November 2021 Incumbent
Kenta Izumi – 189
Seiji Osaka – 148
Junya Ogawa – 133
Chinami Nishimura – 102
Kenta Izumi – 205
Seiji Osaka – 128

Election results edit

House of Representatives edit

House of Representatives
Election Leader No. of
candidates
Seats Position Constituency votes PR Block votes Status
No. ± Share No. Share No. Share
2017 Yukio Edano 78
55 / 465
11.8% 2nd 4,852,097 8.75% 11,084,890 19.88% Opposition
Merger of: Democratic Party for the People (centre-right; majority faction) & Some Independents Group (2020)
2021 Yukio Edano 240
96 / 465
20.6% 2nd 17,215,621 29.96% 11,492,095 20.00% Opposition

House of Councillors edit

House of Councillors
Election Leader No. of
candidates
Seats Position Constituency votes Party list votes Status
Won ± Share Not up Total[d] No. Share No. Share
2019 Yukio Edano 42
17 / 124
13.7% 15
32 / 245
2nd 7,951,430 15.79% 7,917,720 15.81% Opposition
Merger of: Democratic Party for the People (centre-right; majority faction) & Some Independents Group (2020)
2022 Kenta Izumi 51
17 / 125
13.6% 22
39 / 248
2nd 8,154,330 15.33% 6,771,914 12.77% Opposition

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ a b c The "old CDP" was founded on 3 October 2017[1] as a split from the Democratic Party and dissolved on 14 September 2020,[2] while the current party was founded on 15 September 2020[3] as a merger of the old CDP, the majority of the Democratic Party for the People and some independent lawmakers.
  2. ^ Most conservative factions within the CDP are moderate conservatives, but some CDP members belong to ultra-conservative Nippon Kaigi (ex: Hirofumi Ryu and Shū Watanabe).
  3. ^ Held after the merger with the Democratic Party for the People.
  4. ^ The Upper house is split in two classes, one elected every three years.

References edit

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  2. ^ "政治資金規正法及び政党助成法に基づく政党の解散の届出" (PDF). Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (in Japanese). 14 September 2020.
  3. ^ "政治資金規正法に基づく政治団体の届出" (PDF). Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (in Japanese). 15 September 2020.
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  7. ^ 日本に定着するか、政党のカラー [Will the colors of political parties settle in Japan?] (in Japanese). Nikkei, Inc. 21 October 2017. Retrieved 23 September 2019. 立憲民主党は青だ。 [Constitutional Democratic Party is blue.]
  8. ^ "代表メッセージ - 立憲民主党".
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  14. ^ a b
    • "5 Key Takeaways From Japan's General Election". Center for American Progress. 5 November 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2021. At the same time, the center-left Constitutional Democratic Party (CDP) saw its total fall by 13 seats to 96, despite high expectations for its performance.
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    Amory Gethin (16 November 2021). "Political Cleavages and the Representation of Social Inequalities in Japan, 1953-2017". In Amory Gethin; Clara Martinez-Toledano; Thomas Piketty (eds.). Political Cleavages and Social Inequalities: A Study of Fifty Democracies, 1948-2020. Harvard University Press. p. 358. ISBN 978-0-67-424842-7.

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  29. ^ Johnston, Eric (10 September 2020). "Yukio Edano elected chief of new CDP, Japan's top opposition party". The Japan Times. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  30. ^ a b 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.
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  32. ^ "CDPJ pays price for opposition cooperation". the-japan-news.com. 1 November 2021. Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  33. ^ NEWS, KYODO. "Coronavirus pandemic updates: Nov. 6, 2021". Kyodo News+.
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  39. ^ [35][36][12][37][38]
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  41. ^ Spremberg, Felix (25 November 2020). "How Japan's Left is repeating its unfortunate history". International Politics & Society Journal. Retrieved 28 February 2021. The new party programme is still decidedly left-liberal
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    • "Easy win for Japan's new PM". The Saturday Paper. 2 November 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2021. the centrist Constitutional Democratic Party, lost 13 seats, to end up with 96.
    • "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.
    • "The Dialectics of March 11: A Decade After the Japan Tsunami". Los Angeles Review of Books. 11 March 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2021. This situation would seem to be an opportunity for Japan's political left, which has begun to consolidate around the centrist Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan. However, much like the ruling party, the opposition has been tainted by corporate influence and nepotism.
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  58. ^ "화이트리스트 복원도 적반하장…일본 "한국 자세에 달렸다"". Kyunghyang Shinmun (in Korean). 17 March 2023. Archived from the original on 19 March 2023. 제1야당인 입헌민주당의 이즈미 겐타 대표는 이날 윤 대통령과 만나 한·일 갈등 현안인 '레이더-초계기' 문제와 소녀상 건립 문제를 언급했다고 밝혔다. 입헌민주당은 그동안 소녀상 철거를 요구해왔다.
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External links edit

  • Official website