If media reports are to be believed, Takashi Kawamura appears to be on the verge of merging his Genzei Nippon, a ragtag collection of local and/or unloved B- and C-list Diet members with Ichiro Ozawa and his People’s Life First in a last-ditch effort to remain relevant as a Third Force movement. They are uniting under an anti-consumption tax hike, anti-nuclear, and anti-TPP platform. Ozawa has serious credibility problems that have further diminished the electability of mostly vulnerable candidates, and Kawamura has more recently engaged in a furious speed dating spree, only to strike out completely—the only positive, if you can call it that, being a catch from the DPJ reversing his re-defection when Hashimoto refused to take him in. They are reportedly trying to rope in the Green Wind, yet another group of DPJ defectors who refused to join Ozawa and are able to pass the smell test. The Green Wind leader is on the record that “collaboration is necessary” Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Anonymous sources say that Kawamura is sounding out Yukiko Kada, the (sort of) anti-nuclear governor of Shiga Prefecture, to head the new prospective party and is about to make some kind of announcement later today. She doesn’t have to run for the House of Representatives herself. Essentially, they think that they need a disinfectant. Now this is a story that we’ve heard before, and this is obviously Kawamura or someone very close to him—not Kada—who is doing the leaking. I’m not saying this is in Texas straw hat territory, but I’d say there’s much more than a glimmer of “counting your raccoon dog pelts before you’ve caught them” look to this.
My instant scratch-it ticket says: Kada politely refuses, and Kawamura strikes out again. May come back later in the day with the outcome, plus the broader picture. FYI I'm mildly surprised that the post-merger Hashimoto-Ishihara alliance has maintained its place in the Yomiuri poll, not at all surprised that half the responders have not given any preferences.