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Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 15:00 - 16:00

Yuichiro Tamaki, President, the Party of Hope (Kibo no To)
Language: The speech and Q & A will be in Japanese with English interpretation.

Japan's fragmented opposition camp has been struggling to regroup after its electoral debacle in October, which followed the meltdown of the then main opposition Democratic Party (DP) allowing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition to maintain a super-majority in the House of Representatives.

During the New Year break, what remained of the largely center-left DP and the newly formed Party of Hope launched formal talks on forming an alliance despite their sharp policy differences on security and constitutional issues. "Debates in parliament get pointless if the opposition parties remain apart," Party of Hope leader Yuichiro Tamaki told media during a visit to the grand Shinto shrine of Ise.

His party was created ahead of the general election to merge followers of the then hugely popular Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and DP splinters in a marriage of convenience to challenge Abe's lopsided dominance. But conservative Koike excluded the DP's liberal wing from joining the bandwagon, a move resulting in voter backlash.

The liberals formed the Constitutional Democratic Party (CDP) and grabbed 55 seats to become the biggest opposition force in the lower house, still dominated by Abe's conservative party with 284 seats. The Party of Hope secured 51 seats while 14 went to DP loyalists. The CDP has spurned the proposed opposition alliance.

A former finance ministry bureaucrat and DP hopeful, Tamaki has taken over the helm of the Party of Hope from Koike who distanced herself from national politics after the election. Tamaki has denied criticism that his party is effectively complementing Abe's campaign to alter the country's war-renouncing constitution. But he still advocates a constitutional amendment on his party's own terms.

Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation.

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Jan 10 18  PC Yuichiro Tamaki036

 

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