MORIOKA, IWATE PREF. – A lawmaker from the opposition Democratic Party for the People said Saturday that he will leave his party following its merger with the Liberal Party, another opposition party, last month.
Takeshi Shina, a member of the House of Representatives from Iwate Prefecture, made the announcement at a meeting of the DPP’s chapter in the prefectural capital, Morioka.
Shina had opposed the merger with the Liberal Party, headed by Ichiro Ozawa, a heavyweight Lower House member also elected from Iwate.
With the DPP performing poorly in public opinion polls, other politicians may follow Shina out of the party, watchers say.
“I want to create a framework where I can put policies first, not politics,” Shina told reporters after the meeting, giving a reason for quitting the DPP.
Another reason he cited was the failure of opposition forces to unite and chose the chapter’s leader, Toru Kikawada, as their unified candidate in the Iwate prefectural constituency in the upcoming House of Councilors election.
Shina has been frustrated with the Liberal Party, which agreed with the Social Democratic Party and the Japanese Communist Party, to put up a former Paralympian as their candidate in the Upper House constituency.
Kikawada, a former Lower House member, will also leave the DPP.