The rise and — so far — fall in popularity of Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike's Kibo no To (Party of Hope) comes as no surprise in Osaka, where her ability to govern effectively, as opposed to deal with the media, has long been in doubt.

Like former Osaka Mayor and Nippon Ishin no Kai co-founder Toru Hashimoto, Koike, an ex-television announcer, knows how to speak to the camera. Unlike the bombastic Hashimoto, Koike's measured tone made her conservative and right-wing social leanings and associations seem less threatening to some viewers. Her speech often includes English buzzwords that can sound pretentious, unlike Hashimoto, who mostly avoided English jargon in arguing his points, like the lawyer that he is.

But the leaders' different rhetorical styles should not hide the fact that, on national security, diplomacy, and constitutional revision, there is virtually no difference between Kibo no To and Nippon Ishin. Both parties are also on the same page as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ruling Liberal Democratic Party on most issues. Although if Abe wants Nippon Ishin to support constitutional revision, he is going to have to do more to convince the party that any Diet draft would be approved in a national referendum.