The Ishin no To (Japan Innovation Party) and the Democratic Party of Japan will not form a broad cooperation agreement in the event that a Lower House election is held next month, as both parties continue to jostle for position and stake out their territory.

Senior Ishin officials met Thursday to discuss election strategy, and the possibility of cooperating with the DPJ on fielding candidates in up to 30 districts nationwide.

However, philosophical differences between the two parties, especially over plans to integrate Osaka city, as well as the DPJ’s long-standing ties to trade unions, which the Ishin has generally poor relations with, prevented any sort of broad alliance.

“Cooperation with the DPJ, where we have policy disagreements, make cooperation impossible,” said Ishin Secretary-General and Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui following a meeting of senior Ishin officials.

Ishin co-leader Toru Hashimoto has long called for like-minded members of the opposition, including members of the DPJ who are not heavily supported by trade unions, to form a new opposition party. But he said that as long as the DPJ included people like former Social Democratic Party Lower House member Kiyomi Tsujimoto, whose views on most major issues are the opposite of Hashimoto’s, there could be no tie-up.

Ishin is anxious for some sort of election alliance with other opposition parties. Recent media polls show that the party’s popularity rating is hovering around 1 percent nationwide, and the party is worried about holding onto its 42 seats in the Lower House.

Matsui has suggested younger members of the ultra-rightwing Party for Future Generations, led by 82-year-old former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara and 75-year-old Takeo Hiranuma, should consider returning to the Ishin. This party consists of 19 Lower House members who split off from Ishin earlier this year due to policy differences with Hashimoto.

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