The leadership of Kibo no To (Party of Hope) on Friday proposed to rank-and-file members that the opposition party strongly criticize the controversial 2015 security laws pushed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a senior member and media reports said.

The new policy, proposed during a party meeting, was designed to promote cooperation with other opposition parties and strengthen the leadership of Kibo no To President Yuichiro Tamaki, according to the senior party member who spoke on condition of anonymity.

But according to some reports, the move threatened to split the party, which was first established by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, who is widely believed to be a security hawk. She once argued that anyone who opposed the security laws should not be endorsed as a Kibo no To candidate in last October's Lower House election.