FOCUS: For Constitution Reform, Abe Meddles in Opposition Rift in Shizuoka


Shizuoka, July 17 (Jiji Press)--In efforts to secure a two-thirds majority in the House of Councillors for constitutional reform, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration is believed to be secretly working for a candidate of the opposition Democratic Party for the People, or DPFP, in Shizuoka Prefecture ahead of Sunday's Upper House election.

The central prefecture is the only two-seat electoral district where the DPFP and the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, another major opposition party, are backing different contestants.

Recent media polls suggested that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's candidate is leading in the Shizuoka constituency, with the two opposition candidates competing for the second place.

In the last three elections, one of the two contested seats was won by senior DPFP member Kazuya Shinba, and the other seat went to the LDP.

While opposition parties including the CDPJ and the DPFP are cooperating in many electoral districts this time, the CDPJ did not refrain from fielding its own candidate in Shizuoka, reflecting its frustration with Shinba, 52, who is close to LDP members.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press