A sign of decline in LDP support base

The Japan Medical Federation, a political arm of the powerful Japan Medical Association and a staunch supporter of the Liberal Democratic Party, has decided to allow its prefectural organizations to support non-LDP Diet members and candidates in elections.

Last year, the JMF donated more than 1.1 billion yen to Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro and other LDP members who represented the special interests of medical institutions.

However, since the LDP rushed to get the adverse revision of the medical insurance system enacted in the last ordinarily Diet session, many JMF prefectural branches have stopped or reconsidered their support for the party.

The Japan Dental Federation, which has also provided the LDP with an important voter base, unusually turned down its executive board's proposal to support dentist Sasai Hirofumi as an LDP candidate for the House of Councilors in the next proportional representation election.

The JDF is the political arm of the Japan Dental Association, which has supported LDP candidates in every proportional representation election.

As criticism has been increasing in the organization of the LDP member and former JDF chair Nakahara So, who voted for the adverse revision of the medical insurance system, many JDF members have left their local JDF branch. (end)