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IR opponent Edano voted to head expanded Japan opposition party

Yukio Edano, an opponent of the Liberal Democratic Party’s plans to develop integrated resorts in Japan, has been voted to lead a new political party called the Constitutional Democratic Party – the largest of Japan’s opposition parties.

The 56-year-old Edano received 107 of 149 votes cast by Diet members on Thursday, comfortably defeating challenger Kenta Izumi to become inaugural president. The Constitutional Democratic Party is a merger of the old Constitutional Democratic Party and the Democratic Party, and has been formed amid talk that the LDP may call a general snap election in the coming months.

Edano’s election comes a day after he visited Yamashita Pier in Yokohama, the desired location for Yokohama city’s IR, where he stated, “The issue of the casino is symbolic of the conflict between top-down governance and grassroots politics,” adding he would be in complete opposition to any IR plans.

Pointing to plans by Secretary of State, Yoshihide Suga, the favorite to take over from Shinzo Abe as Prime Minister and a known fan of proceeding with the Yokohama IR project, Edano said they “should not proceed with things as an extension of the Abe administration.”

立憲民主党代表枝野氏、横浜視察 IR整備計画阻止の考え強調

立憲民主党の枝野幸男代表は9日、横浜市がIR(統合型リゾート施設)を誘致している横浜港の山下埠頭を視察した。枝野氏は記者団に「トップダウンの政治と草の根の声に寄り添う政治の明確な対立軸の象徴がカジノ問題だ」と述べ、IR整備計画を全面的に阻止する考えを示した。時事通信などが報じた。

枝野氏は、次期自民党総裁と目されている菅義偉官房長官が、自らの地盤としている横浜市へのIR誘致に積極的だとして、「安倍政権の延長線上で物事を進めさせてはいけない」と強調。国民民主党との合流新党結党後も「最重点のテーマの一つとしたい」と語った。

翌日10日には、枝野氏が代表を務めていた立憲民主党と国民民主党などとの合流新党は、党名を投票により「立憲民主党」とし、新代表に枝野氏を選出した。

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