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Renho most popular as next leader of Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan: poll

The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan's acting leader Renho (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- House of Councillors member Renho, former leader of the now-defunct Democratic Party, narrowly emerged as the most popular pick as the next leader of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP) in a nationwide opinion poll conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun and Social Survey Research Center, though she was cited by just 4% of respondents.

    In the survey conducted on Nov. 13, people were asked who they thought would be an appropriate successor to outgoing CDP leader Yukio Edano, who indicated his intention to step down after the party's defeat in the recent House of Representatives election. The 747 people who responded by mobile phone were allowed to freely name a suitable candidate instead of picking one from a list. Renho was named by 29 respondents (4%) to take the top position. Following was former parliamentary vice minister for internal affairs Junya Ogawa, who was named by 28 people (4%), while 18 respondents (2%) hoped Edano would keep the position.

    Junya Ogawa, second from right, and Renho, fourth from right, pose for a photo with high school students in Takamatsu on Oct. 22, 2021. (Mainichi/Yudai Katami)

    No politicians stood out from all the others, and more than 30% of respondents in total named no one, said they did not know who would be suitable, or said they were not interested, suggesting a harsh situation for the CDP.

    Other figures to receive a mention in the poll were Sumio Mabuchi, the former minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, in fourth place with 13 people (2%) naming him; former Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Akira Nagatsuma, named by 12 respondents (2%); former Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, and the party's policy chief Kenta Izumi, each named by 11 people (1%); and the party's Diet Affairs Committee chairperson Jun Azumi, and former state minister of education Yuko Mori, named by eight people (1%), respectively.

    (Japanese original by Shingo Okuma, Social Survey Research Center)

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