An unusual appointment by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has fueled speculation that he is gearing up to add the opposition Democratic Party for the People (DPP) to the Liberal Democratic Party-Komeito ruling coalition.

On Friday, Wakako Yata, a former lawmaker who previously served as vice president of the DPP, was named special adviser to the prime minister. It is extremely rare for an opposition party-linked individual to be appointed to the post.

But it remains uncertain whether such a coalition can be formed, given that the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, also known as Rengo, a major supporter of the DPP, is against the idea of the party joining forces with the LDP-Komeito bloc.