Yukio Edano, an opponent of the Liberal Democratic Party’s plans to develop integrated resorts in Japan, has been voted to lead a new political party called the Constitutional Democratic Party – the largest of Japan’s opposition parties.
The 56-year-old Edano received 107 of 149 votes cast by Diet members on Thursday, comfortably defeating challenger Kenta Izumi to become inaugural president. The Constitutional Democratic Party is a merger of the old Constitutional Democratic Party and the Democratic Party, and has been formed amid talk that the LDP may call a general snap election in the coming months.
Edano’s election comes a day after he visited Yamashita Pier in Yokohama, the desired location for Yokohama city’s IR, where he stated, “The issue of the casino is symbolic of the conflict between top-down governance and grassroots politics,” adding he would be in complete opposition to any IR plans.
Pointing to plans by Secretary of State, Yoshihide Suga, the favorite to take over from Shinzo Abe as Prime Minister and a known fan of proceeding with the Yokohama IR project, Edano said they “should not proceed with things as an extension of the Abe administration.”