TOKYO (majirox news) — Executive members of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) are unanimously opposed to forming a Grand Coalition with the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) once Prime Minister Naoto Kan has left office, it was learned Aug. 17.
“A Grand Coalition is an exceptional case in exceptional times,” LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki said during a meeting of the LDP executive. “Had the idea been mooted immediately after the disasters in March we may have been able to build a relationship of trust, but looking back at these past five months it is not possible to make such a decision now.”
None in attendance at the meeting of the core LDP leadership expressed support for forming a Grand Coalition with the DPJ.
Yuriko Koike, chairperson of the LDP General Council, and Ichita Yamamoto, chairman of the LDP’s Upper House policy affairs council, strongly opposed the national unity government concept.
“President Tanigaki has already spoken about the issue,” Koike told reporters after the conclusion of the gathering.
LDP Vice-President Tadamori Oshima, a proponent of joining forces with the DPJ, changed tack after the meeting.
LDP Secretary-General Nobuteru Ishihara said support within the party for the national unity government proposal was “not zero, but almost zero.”
Ishihara emphasized that even if a Grand Coalition were to be formed, the condition for doing so would be the new prime minister promising to immediately dissolve the Diet and calling a general election.