OTSU, SHIGA PREF. – Political heavyweight Ichiro Ozawa persuaded Shiga Gov. Yukiko Kada to head up Nippon Mirai no To (Tomorrow Party of Japan) by convincing her that 100 of their combined candidates would win Diet seats in the Lower House election, Kada said Monday.
“In retrospect, I shouldn’t have believed him,” Kada said of the former Democratic Party of Japan leader and rebel as she apologized to supporters at a New Year’s event in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture.
Ozawa and Kada joined hands to form Nippon Mirai after the wily veteran dubbed “the Destroyer” left the DPJ over a tax dispute to form his own party, Kokumin no Seikatsu ga Daiichi. It ended up fielding 62 candidates in the election.
Kada admitted that most of the single-seat candidates they fielded for the Dec. 16 poll had to compete against DPJ candidates and “would not have been able to win” in the first place.
In the end, Nippon Mirai — hastily formed in late November just days before campaigning kicked off — was decimated, winning only nine seats.
Due to the election debacle, Ozawa and his followers bolted from the party last month to form a new party called Seikatsu no To (Lifestyle Party) with 15 lawmakers, leaving Nippon Mirai with only one seat in the Diet and bereft of official party status.