A new opposition party to be launched March 27 through the merger of the Democratic Party of Japan and the Japan Innovation Party will be named Minshinto, or the Democratic Innovation Party, senior lawmakers of the two parties said Monday.
The DPJ and the Innovation Party, respectively the largest and third-largest opposition parties, made the decision during a meeting of DPJ leader Katsuya Okada, Innovation Party leader Yorihisa Matsuno and other lawmakers in preparation for the launch of the new party.
The two parties have agreed to join forces through integration in an attempt to more effectively challenge Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition in a House of Councillors election this summer.
Altogether, about 150 lawmakers from both chambers of the Diet will join the new party, but it will still be far smaller than the coalition of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito party, which controls a majority of the 242-member upper house and more than two-thirds of the 475-member House of Representatives.
The DPJ and the Innovation Party decided on the new party’s name after taking into account the result of an opinion poll they conducted over the weekend.
A senior Innovation Party lawmaker told reporters that the “Democratic Innovation Party” is the English name of the new party.
In the poll conducted Saturday and Sunday, the two parties asked which name the public would prefer, Rikken Minshuto as proposed by the DPJ or Minshinto as recommended by the Innovation Party.
Rikken Minshuto is roughly translated as “constitutional democratic party.”
The two parties had earlier narrowed about 20,000 draft names they received from the public down to two.