Why does the Japanese left hate Nippon Ishin so much?

Ishin may have the best chance of becoming an opposition force to be reckoned with, but leftists fear the party even more than the LDP.

TOKYO, Sep 19 (The Diplomat) - In a competitive democracy, it is common for an up-and-coming political party to be attacked by the party in power, out of fear of being supplanted, but also by the bulk of the opposition parties, concerned that they will be pushed aside into obscurity.

At this moment in Japanese politics, there is no doubt that the up-and-coming political party gaining the attention of rivals is Nippon Ishin. A recent poll showed that Ishin was the most supported opposition party, outstripping the Constitutional Democratic Party (CDP), currently the largest opposition in the Japanese Diet, by 1.8 percentage points.

Another poll back in June showed that 47 percent of respondents identified Ishin as the opposition party for which they had high expectations, while 29 percent said the same of the CDP. Also, a study from Sankei Shimbun found 44.9 percent of participants desired Ishin to become the largest opposition party.

The rising prospects of Ishin are a reflection of the growing number of Japanese voters who perceive them as an alternative to the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), a mantle that opposition parties have failed to carry since the collapse of the Democratic Party of Japan. However, although a significant portion of the public – who are disenchanted by the noncompetitive nature of Japanese politics – are beginning to invest themselves in Nippon Ishin, the party’s detractors remain vocal. ...continue reading