Seiji Maehara, leader of the Democratic Party (DP), which had initially agreed to an effective merger with the newly formed conservative opposition Party of Hope, said he takes a serious view of the outcome of the Oct. 22 general election, in which the new party failed to meet its expectations.
"In politics, results are everything. I'd like to take this tough outcome seriously," Maehara told public broadcaster NHK on the night of Oct. 22 after the election.
Maehara suggested that the DP would hold intraparty discussions on its relationship with the Party of Hope, including the possibility of breaking off its cooperative ties with the party, led by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike.
"Initially, we had tried to create a large political bloc centering on the Party of Hope. But we'd like to pause and decide what to do in the next House of Councillors election and how to deal with our local organizations while listening to the opinions of our fellow members," he said.