Kibō no Tō

Kibō no Tō (希望の党, Party of Hope) is a conservative political party in Japan founded by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike. Governor Koike formed the party just hours before Prime Minister Shinzō Abe declared an early 2017 general election. The party's ideology is mainly Japanese conservatism and nationalism.

Kibō no Tō
Japanese nameKibō no Tō
LeaderNariaki Nakayama
Secretary-GeneralKazunari Inoue
Founded25 September 2017; 3 years ago (2017-09-25) (original)
7 May 2018; 3 years ago (2018-05-07) (refounded)
Split fromDemocratic Party
Liberal Democratic Party
Merged intoDemocratic Party for the People
Headquarters2-17-10-203 Nagatachō, Chiyoda, Tokyo
Political positionCurrent (2018–present):
Original incarnation (2017–2018):
Centre-right[4] to right-wing[5]
Colors  Green[6]
0 / 245
1 / 465

Kibō no Tō merged with the Democratic Party to form the Democratic Party for the People on 7 May 2018. However, some right-wing populist members decided to form a new party with the same name.


In 2016's gubernatorial election, Governor Koike was elected as the Governor with membership of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) even though she was not the official candidate of the party.[note 1] Then, she formed a regional party: Tomin First no Kai, which was founded for the 2017 metropolitan election. The Komeito party supported Governor Koike in the metropolitan council, even though they were part of the coalition government with the LDP at the national level. At this time, the party was described as centre-right.[4]

Then, on 25 September 2017, after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had called October 2017 general election, Koike announced that she will found a national party called Kibō no Tō based on the Tomin First no Kai. [7] Because Kibō no Tō at the time declared it as a centrist liberal party, the support rate of it was once ranked the second among political parties in Japan briefly after its foundation. The largest opposing party Democratic Party (DP) at the time, troubled by its continuous low support rate since 2012,[8] announced that the party had abandoned plans to contest the 2017 general election because Seiji Maehara, a conservative in DP and the leader of DP at the time, decided to start the merger with Kibō no Tō.[9] The DP caucus in the House of Representatives disbanded, with many of the party's existing representatives contesting the election as candidates for Kibō no Tō.[10] This led to the split on 2 October 2017 of the Constitutional Democratic Party, which consists of left-leaning and liberal DP politicians whom Koike had rejected as Kibō no Tō candidates. [11][12]

It was reported that the Kibō no Tō is tightly connected to some far-right organizations like Ganbare Nippon founded by Satoru Mizushima. Some members of Kibō no Tō, like Nariaki Nakayama, are far-rightist, too.[3] The support rate of Kibō no Tō then dramatically decreased before the election and finally it only won 50 seats, even lower than the newly-founded Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.

On 10 November 2017, the party held a leadership election to elect a co-leader of the party. Yūichirō Tamaki was elected in the caucus election by a margin of 39 to 14. Koike resigned as party leader on 14 November 2017 as a result of the poor performance in the general election, leaving Tamaki as a sole leader.[13][14]

On 24 April 2018, the leadership of Kibō and the Democratic Party announced in a joint press conference that both parties agreed to merge in May 2018 under the name Democratic Party for the People (DPFP). Several factions in both parties do not plan to join the new party. The members of these factions are expected to form their own splinter party, join other parties or become independents.[15]

Post-DPFP merger reestablishmentEdit

Prior to the merger, far-right members of Kibō led by Shigefumi Matsuzawa stated that they intended to form a separate party that retains the Kibō no Tō name.[16] The party was formed on 7 May 2018, on the same day with the DPFP merger.[17]

On 5 June 2018, Former Secretary-general Kuniko Koda left the party, so Kibō no Tō lost its legal status as a political party and became a political organization.[citation needed]

On 28 May 2019, Matsuzawa resigned as party leader, and Nariaki Nakayama became a new party leader.

Presidents of partyEdit

No. Name Term of office Election results
Took office Left office
Preceding parties: Tomin First no Kai (2017; national wing) and Democratic Party (2016); centre-right)
1 Yuriko Koike 25 September 2017 14 November 2017 Unopposed
2 Yuichiro Tamaki 14 November 2017 7 May 2018 Unopposed
Successor party: Democratic Party for the People (2018; centre-right) and Kibō no Tō (2018); far-right)
No. Name Term of office Election results
Took office Left office
1 Shigefumi Matsuzawa 7 May 2018 28 May 2019 Unopposed
Nariaki Nakayama 28 May 2019 Incumbent

Election resultsEdit

General election resultsEdit

Election Leader No. of candidates No. of seats won No. of Constituency votes % of Constituency vote No. of PR Block votes % of PR Block vote Government/opposition
2017 Yuriko Koike 235
50 / 465
11,437,601 20.64% 9,677,524 17.36% Opposition


  1. ^ The official candidate was Hiroya Masuda.



  1. ^ a b c Sawa, Tamamitsu (13 November 2017). "Where Koike's new political party lost hope". The Japan Times. Retrieved 3 July 2020. One look at these three points may give the false impression that Kibo no To pursued liberal-leaning policies. But the rest of its campaign platform was totally conservative, calling for market fundamentalism on economic issues and featuring a nationalistic political agenda. [...] All in all, the party gave the impression of pursuing a right-leaning populism. [...] In short, Kibo no To came off as nothing but a right-wing populist party that looked similar to but was indeed different from the LDP.
  2. ^ Yano, Takeshi. "Kibō no Tō towa" 希望の党(きぼうのとう)とは. (in Japanese). Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Yuen, Stacey (2 October 2017). "The main rival to Japan's ruling party is really 'extreme rightist,' analyst says". CNBC. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b Steger, Isabella (19 October 2017). "Everything you should know about Japan's oddly drama-filled elections". Quartz. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  5. ^ Kate Wexler (2020). "The Power of Politics: How Right-Wing Political Parties Shifted Japanese Strategic Culture". International Affairs Program (University of Colorado, Boulder).
  6. ^ 日本に定着するか、政党のカラー [Will the colors of political parties settle in Japan?] (in Japanese). Nikkei, Inc. 21 October 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  7. ^ "小池百合子氏「希望の党」結党宣言、国政にも関わる". ニッカンスポーツ・コム. 日刊スポーツ新聞社. 2017-09-25. Retrieved 2017-09-25.
  8. ^ "Polls show Abe is riding out storm of bad news". Japan Times. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  9. ^ "Democratic Party effectively disbands; members to join Koike's party". Japan Today. 29 September 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  10. ^ Yoshida, Reiji (28 September 2017). "Democratic Party effectively disbands, throwing support behind Koike's party for Lower House poll" – via Japan Times Online.
  11. ^ Osaki, Tomohiro (2 October 2017). "Former DP heavyweight Yukio Edano seeks to fill void with new liberal-minded party" – via Japan Times Online.
  12. ^ "Koike's party unveils 1st list of 192 candidates for upcoming election". Japan Today. 4 October 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Tokyo Gov. Koike resigns as party leader after election defeat". Kyodo News. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 11 April 2018. Cite uses generic title (help)
  15. ^ Jiji Press (25 April 2018). "DP, Kibo to merge into new party as early as May 7". Yomiuri Shimbun. Archived from the original on 26 April 2018. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  16. ^ 松沢新党、「希望の党」党名継承 小池都知事と確認 (in Japanese). TV Asahi. 26 April 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Archived copy" 新「希望」結成、小池氏は特別顧問就任を固辞 (in Japanese). Yomiuri Shimbun. 7 May 2018. Archived from the original on 8 May 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)