A major rally to protest against the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was held in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on Oct. 5, with participants calling for liberal forces to come together ahead of the upcoming House of Representatives election.
"Let's focus our efforts on toppling the Abe administration through collaboration between citizens and three (opposition) parties," said former Prime Minister Naoto Kan in addressing the participants of the rally held at Hibiya Open-air Concert Hall, as he took the podium alongside Japanese Communist Party vice chairman Yoshiki Yamashita and Social Democratic Party deputy leader Mizuho Fukushima.
Kan, who is set to run in the Oct. 22 general election on the ticket of the newly founded Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, and the other two opposition members clearly showed a confrontational stance against not only the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) but also the fledgling national party, the Party of Hope, led by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike.
"It is regrettable and frustrating that the united front formed between citizens and opposition parties (against the ruling coalition in elections) has suffered a setback," Yamashita said, referring to the practical merger of the largest opposition Democratic Party into the Party of Hope. "But we cannot allow what we have built up over the past two years to be quashed."
Fukushima also addressed the demonstrators, saying, "The Party of Hope is just another LDP. We will aim to win one-third of seats (in the lower chamber) as forces to thwart the move to revise the Constitution."
Rally participants then paraded down streets toward the Ginza district, chanting such slogans as "Let's take back sound politics where sovereign power resides with the people and create a society free of disparity."
The official campaign period for the general election kicks off on Oct. 10.