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Veterans Edano, Maehara to run for Democratic Party presidency

JIJI

Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano and former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara have each decided to run for the presidency of the Democratic Party to replace Renho, informed sources said Friday.

Edano, 53, sought support for his candidacy at a meeting Friday with former House of Representative Vice Speaker Hirotaka Akamatsu, the sources said.

Akamatsu advised Edano to highlight policies that appeal to liberal members of the nation’s top opposition party, based on a position of promoting cooperation among all parties in the opposition camp.

“Edano has made up his mind,” one of the sources said.

Meanwhile, at a meeting the same day attended by Maehara, 55, the DP group he leads confirmed that it will hurry to make preparations for the leadership election, which is slated to take place by early September.

For the leadership election, the Maehara camp is working with groups led by former Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Akihiro Ohata and by former Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yorihisa Matsuno.

The Maehara camp is expected to highlight its cautious attitude toward collaborating with the Japanese Communist Party.

Another possible candidate is Deputy Secretary-General Yuichiro Tamaki, 48.

At an executive meeting the same day, the DP decided to hold a full-fledged election with participation from all party members and supporters in line with the previous leadership poll last September.

Renho, 49, said Thursday that she decided to step down after the party’s lackluster performance in the July 2 Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election.