The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP), now the main opposition party, emphasized that it will be a political force based on policies and will not form alliances simply for numerical gain.

The CDP held an executives’ meeting at a hotel in Tokyo on Oct. 23, where they agreed on a policy reflecting leader Yukio Edano’s oft-repeated statement of “not making alliances with other parties just to secure enough Diet seats to form a government.”

The left-leaning CDP is calling for closer ties with like-minded opposition parties and politicians to challenge Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the ruling coalition, which maintained its two-thirds majority in the Oct. 22 Lower House election.

Seiji Osaka, who won the seat in the Hokkaido No. 8 district as an independent in the election, officially joined the CDP on Oct. 22. He, like Edano, had left what was then the main opposition Democratic Party.

Edano, who set up the CDP before official campaigning started, met with Rikio Kozu, chairman of Rengo (Japanese Trade Union Confederation), to seek cooperation with the nation’s largest union umbrella toward the Upper House election slated for summer 2019.

Kozu pushed for realignment in the opposition camp.

“The Democratic Party was split into two,” Kozu said at a news conference. “However, essentially, it’s best that an opposition monolith be maintained toward the Upper House election.”

The CDP was expected to hold a general meeting of party lawmakers on Oct. 24. Selections for executive posts are expected within a week.

While the CDP was preparing for the future, Kibo no To (Hope) was struggling to figure out what went wrong in the election.

After its recent formation, the party was expected to become the biggest challenger to Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, but it slid in popularity and performed poorly on election day.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Oct. 23 denied she had any intention of stepping down as head of the Hope party to take responsibility for the election results.

“I have a responsibility of having founded the party,” Koike said in response to questions from reporters in Paris.

Koike was in Paris for an international conference of local leaders when the snap election was held in Japan.

She said it would be “rather irresponsible to resign as party leader amid efforts to consolidate the party on the national political scene.”

The Hope party will decide on its executive lineup during a general meeting of party lawmakers scheduled for Oct. 25, when Koike returns to Japan.

The rise of the CDP and the decline of the Hope party started after moves by Seiji Maehara, leader of the Democratic Party. In a meeting with Rengo’s Kozu after the election, Maehara conveyed his intention to resign as party chief.

Maehara tried to merge his party with the Hope party for the election, but the Democratic Party splintered after Koike said she didn’t want liberal candidates to join.

Edano, former deputy president of the Democratic Party, decided to form the CDP, and Koike took criticism for her exclusionary policy. Maehara ran and won as an independent.

“It is reasonable to resign (as party president) after deciding on the future direction with regional organizations and the party’s Upper House members,” Maehara said at a news conference early on Oct. 23.

He later met with Toshio Ogawa, chairman of the Upper House caucus of the Democratic Party, at the Diet building. Maehara confirmed he will continue serving as party leader until the Upper House members decide how to deal with the situation.