With Naoto Kan announcing in October that he will not run in the next general election, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP) — the main opposition party — will lose a high-profile figure and political veteran from the party’s liberal wing.

“I am trying to make arrangements on how to officially decide on a successor, but would like to resolutely hand over the banner of 'civic politics' and the liberal fight to the younger generation,” the former prime minister wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

But that may be easier said than done, as the party's main support group, Rengo (Japan's largest labor organization), appears to be moving closer to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, while CDP cooperation with the Japanese Communist Party at election time may not inspire a groundswell of support among the younger generations.