The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP), a newly formed liberal opposition party, garnered wide support from voters in the Oct. 22 general election, boosted by a call to change the status quo in Japanese politics, the party's leader, Yukio Edano, said.
Edano emphasized that the party's efforts to change the political situation, which he said is characterized by nothing but struggles for power, resonated with voters.
"We offered a new option different from the current state of affairs, which appears to be nothing but a power game," Edano told reporters at the party's vote-counting center set up at a hotel in Tokyo's Minato Ward."
"People have been alienated from politics in their daily lives because of (the Abe administration's) top-down policies. Our basic message that we must change this situation won sympathy from many members of the public," Edano said.
At the party's vote-counting center, high-ranking members and staff members of the CDP applauded whenever news organizations reported that candidates on the party's ticket had been assured of victory.
At around 8 p.m., when it became certain that Edano would emerge as the winner in his single-seat constituency, he smiled in front of supporters at his campaign office in the city of Saitama. However, when he was asked by TV camera crew and photographers to smile at the CDP's vote-counting center, Edano maintained a firm expression saying, "We're still standing at the starting line."
The CDP was founded on Oct. 3, only a week before the launch of official campaigning for the election. Many former legislators with the opposition Democratic Party, who shunned or were rejected by the Party of Hope, a newly established conservative opposition party, ran in the lower house election on the CDP ticket.