Dentist group drops LDP for DPJ

Kyodo News

A nationwide political organization formed by dentists said Friday it will back the ruling Democratic Party of Japan in the July Upper House election, withdrawing its longtime support for the Liberal Democratic Party, which was ousted from power last summer after decades of virtually unbroken rule.

The Japan Dental Federation’s policymaking body approved the decision a day after the DPJ told the group it supports the idea of a dentist running in the House of Councilors election on the party ticket and would campaign for the candidate, who would run for a proportional representation seat.

The federation is the first of the country’s powerful medical-related political groups, many of which have incumbent Upper House members, to stop backing the LDP.

Senior federation official Mikimasa Takagi said the decision was made in response to a DPJ request, denying the group was eager to field a candidate. But he also stressed the need for the group to “draw up a winning strategy,” indicating it would be advantageous for the federation to back a DPJ-backed candidate.