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CDP unveils election lineup of 62 candidates, including ex-PM Kan

Consitutional Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Edano announces a list of candidates for the upcoming lower house election in Tokyo on Oct. 6, 2017. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The new political party formed by the liberal wing of Japan's collapsing main opposition party announced a list of 62 candidates Friday, including former Prime Minister Naoto Kan, for the upcoming lower house election.

    Kan is among the first batch of candidates for the single-seat electoral districts in the Oct. 22 election unveiled by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan that was launched earlier this week by former chief Cabinet secretary Yukio Edano.

    The candidates will be running in single-seat constituencies for the 465-seat House of Representatives centering on major cities including Tokyo and Osaka.

    Sixty-one of the 62 candidates will also run on the party's proportional representation list to boost their chances of getting a seat if they lose in the single-seat districts.

    "We want to play a role in toppling the administration (of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe)," Edano said in a press conference, expressing determination to challenge the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito.

    Edano formerly belonged to the Democratic Party, the largest opposition party. Its predecessor, the Democratic Party of Japan, was in power between 2009 and 2012.

    Former party leader Banri Kaieda and Hirotaka Akamatsu, former vice speaker of the lower house, are also among the candidates.

    The CDP was launched after Democratic Party leader Seiji Maehara effectively disbanded his party and said its members are free to run on the ticket of the new Party of Hope led by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike.

    As the Democratic Party has split apart, more than 100 members supportive of amending the Constitution have joined Koike's "reform-minded, conservative" party.

    Edano formed a new party for liberal members who oppose the idea of revising Japan's Constitution, in particular its war-renouncing Article 9.

    But the CDP will not field candidates in constituencies where former Democratic Party members are expected to run. "As we are sharing a desire to topple the Abe administration, we judged it unnecessary to field contenders," Edano said.

    The party will announce "some more" candidates and unveil campaign pledges, possibly on Saturday, according to Tetsuro Fukuyama, the party's secretary general.

    Ruling and opposition parties have been gearing up preparations for the election, announcing their candidates' lists and platforms, ahead of the start of its official campaign on Tuesday.

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