Photo/Illutration From right: Seiji Osaka, Junya Ogawa, Kenta Izumi and Chinami Nishimura pose on Nov. 19, the day their campaigns started for the leadership election of the opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan. (Tsubasa Setoguchi)

Four candidates started their official campaigns on Nov. 19 for the presidential election of the main opposition and long struggling Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.

The main issue of the Nov. 30 election will be how to garner public support for a party that just lost 13 seats in the Oct. 31 Lower House election, leading to the resignation of Yukio Edano as CDP chief.

The four candidates seeking to succeed Edano are: Seiji Osaka, 62, a former CDP policy chief; Junya Ogawa, 50, a former parliamentary vice minister for internal affairs; Kenta Izumi, 47, the party policy chief; and Chinami Nishimura, 54, a former senior vice minister of health, labor and welfare.

Another issue will be whether the CDP should continue Edano’s strategy of cooperating with other opposition parties, including the Japanese Communist Party, to put up a united front against the ruling bloc in national elections.

Each candidate held a ceremony to kick off their campaign in the Diet building after filing their candidacies on Nov. 19.

They will give campaign speeches on the streets and engage in debates at three locations nationwide.

Along with the party’s 140 Diet members, prospective CDP-backed candidates in national elections, more than 1,200 local assembly members and around 100,000 rank-and-file members and supporters will cast their ballots on Nov. 30.

If no candidate wins a majority in the voting, a run-off will be held between the top two vote-getters in the first round.