According to this Yomiuri report, Mayor Hashimoto met with the following five Diet members. I added information on their ages and their votes on the tax and social safety net reform bill.
Yorihisa Matsuno (lower house, DPJ, 51, no) Kenta Matsunami (lower house, LDP, 40, no) Shinji Oguma (upper house, Your Party, 44, no) Takashi Ishizeki (lower house, DPJ, 40, abstain) Hiroshi Ueno (upper house, Your Party, 41, no)Beyond opposition to the bill, they—like the YP in general—also appear to share Hashimoto’s conservative external policy outlook, making it easier for them to sign on to the Ishin-no-Kai policy agenda. Most important, the presence of two YP members are an indication that the YP is willing to “lend” to Hashimoto the number of Diet members necessary to reach the five-member minimum for registering a candidate simultaneously in the single-seat districts and the proportional blocs. This “zombiehood” insurance means that a) Hashimoto will not have to field two separate slates of candidates and b) it will be much easier for the candidates to make the leap of faith because unsuccessful single-seat bids will have a very good chance of being rewarded anyway with a proportional bloc seat on the crest of Hashimoto’s national momentum. (Hashimotomentum?). YP itself, unable to cash in on the unpopularity of the DPJ and LDP, also stands to gain from the Ishinmania groundswell in its single-seat bids.
Meanwhile, Mayor Hashimoto’s not-quite blessing of Aichi Governor Omura’s adoption of the name “Chukyo Ishin-no-Kai”, which irritated his local ally and rival, Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura, appears to indicate that he has chosen Omura as his Middle Capital partner while quietly writing off Kawamura*. Taken together, Hashimoto appears to be making progress in laying the groundwork for a coordinated campaign by forces in the three major metropolitan centers of Japan.
According to the latest Yomiuri poll (August 11-12), 21%, 16%, and 11% of the responders said that they would vote for the LDP, Osaka Ishin-no-Kai, and the DPJ, respectively. But 26% were undecided. Even election pros would hesitate to make a projection at this point, but with a large number of candidates contesting sigel-seat districts nationwide, it looks quite plausible that the prospective Ishin-no-Kai-Your Party will deny both the DPJ and LDP an outright lower house majority, with the most likely outcome a Tall Coalition**
. * This impression is reinforced by this report on a meeting between Omura and Osaka Governor Matsui, who is essentially Hashimoto’s political deputy. This makes sense, since Kawamura comes across to me as essentially an old-school politician who caught lightening in a bottle and gained a second political wind when he grabbed the Nagoya mayor’s office, more likely to be a drag on Hashimoto’s radical reformist appeal. In fact, I see him as more likely to caucus with the likes of Ozawa’s minions.
** It certainly won’t be “Small,” but it won’t quite be “Grande” either.