Despite their rivalry in the political arena, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the main opposition party, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, are starting to "carpool" during local elections, jointly supporting candidates where possible against what they see as a common threat in the rearview mirror: Nippon Ishin no Kai.

On Nov. 12, 33-year-old Shoko Kawata became Japan’s youngest ever female mayor, winning the race in Yawata, Kyoto Prefecture. Though she ran as an independent, Kawata received support from not only the LDP and its coalition partner Komeito but also the CDP.

During local election campaigning, this kind of cooperation between the ruling and opposition parties is not uncommon, but its aim has traditionally been more to prevent Japanese Communist Party candidates from winning local leadership posts. Faced with Nippon Ishin's rise, the new form of coordination comes with the aim of excluding Nippon Ishin as well as the JCP.