The result of 2012 party presidential election and the later revisions of the selection rules in 2013 revealed that a national favorite candidate from the party’s base in the prefectural branches is more likely to capture a final victory in the LDP. Now, we are observing the same trend in the biggest opposition party of Japan, the DPJ.
On Jan 18th, the DPJ will select its party leader among three candidates, Nagatuma, Hosono and Okada. All of them had served in the cabinet during the DPJ regime, and Okada was the Party leader in 2004~2005. What make this campaign interesting to watch are not just the tense competitions among three key players, but also more of how the selection rules work, who decide the leader. According to the party laws, DPJ applies an electoral-college way of involving local members and Diet members simultaneously in voting. The rank and file members, local supporters and the party’s local assembly members hold 495 points, almost 65% of the total 760 votes. It is the first presidential election that local votes exceed those lawmakers in the Diet. Similar to the LDP, a nationwide popular candidate would be more competitive to become the winner of this leadership contest. It is significant to notice that both parties(LDP & DPJ) are applying a broader inclusiveness to decide their leader.
The following link is a press conference of three candidates at JNPC.