In an unprecedented move that has left many senior Liberal Democratic Party members concerned, the Osaka chapter of the Japanese Communist Party has called on its members to back the LDP's candidates in the Nov. 22 mayoral and gubernatorial elections.

The mayoral election pits former Ishin no To Diet member Hirofumi Yoshimura, a close confidant of Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto backed by the group Osaka Ishin no Kai (One Osaka), against the LDP's pick, Osaka Municipal Assemblyman Akira Yanagimoto.

The gubernatorial election sees the incumbent Ichiro Matsui, a close Hashimoto ally, pitted against former LDP Assemblywoman Takako Kurihara. But the mayoral election is considered the real battle.