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Opposition alliance needs to first fulfill vital watchdog role

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A broad political alliance is a natural strategic choice for small and weak opposition parties that have little chance of holding their own against a dominant ruling camp unless they join forces and pool their political capital.

The agreement between Yukio Edano, head of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP), and Yuichiro Tamaki, chief of the Democratic Party for the People (DPP), to form a unified bloc in both houses of the Diet prior to the autumn Diet session should be a first step toward healthy tensions in the nation’s politics.

The Lower House group known as the Reviewing Group on Social Security Policy, led by former Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, will also join the new bloc in the Lower House.

A unified voting block composed of all the members of the three groups would control 117 Lower House seats, making it the largest opposition grouping since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to power at the end of 2012.

Although it nearly won almost double the number of its seats contested in the July Upper House election, the CDP saw the number of votes it gained through the proportional representation constituency fall by more than 3 million from the Lower House election two years ago.

Edano has stuck to a........

© The Asahi Shimbun