Executive leaders of new DPJ chosen

The newly expanded Democratic Party of Japan will effectively begin operating today under a new executive lineup headed by current DPJ head Naoto Kan.

The new DPJ is to be formed April 27 by the amalgamation of four parties — the current DPJ, Minseito (Good Governance Party), Shinto Yuai (Amity Party) and the Democratic Reform Party. The four parties currently form the parliamentary group Minyuren.

A meeting of Minyuren members from both the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors was held April 7 to approve new executive members. The party will be officially launched when the new DPJ leaders come together at its first convention, on April 27.

Leaders of the four parties reached agreement April 7 on appointments for the party’s top executive posts, which had been vacant. Last week, leaders of the four parties agreed to give Kan command of the new party and Tsutomu Hata, head of Minseito, the No. 2 post of secretary general.

Kunio Hatoyama, now deputy leader of the old DPJ, was appointed to the same position in the new party. Eisei Ito, secretary general of Shinto Yuai, was appointed policy affairs chief.