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New opposition party gathers unlikely momentum on Twitter

A just-formed political party that splintered off Japan's
largest opposition has garnered a much stronger following than its
similarly young, high-profile rival headed by the popular Tokyo
governor, at least on social media.

The official Twitter account, handled @CDP2017 and set up on
Monday by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan led by former
Democratic Party big-shot Yukio Edano, had more than 77,000 followers
as of late Tuesday night.

With just 2,400 followers, @kibounotou, the week-old official
account of the Party of Hope and spearheaded by Tokyo's popular first
female governor Yuriko Koike, trails well behind.

Edano, former chief Cabinet secretary when the Democratic
Party's predecessor was in power, set up the pro-Constitution party
as a home for Democratic Party members unlikely to be accepted by
Koike's party due to differing political beliefs on national security
and an amendment to the pacifist Constitution.

The Democratic Party, which had 87 seats in the House of
Representatives before its dissolution last week, has split into
three groups -- those joining the Party of Hope, those opting for the
Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and those running as
independents in the Oct. 22 general election.

The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan's 77,000 Twitter
followers are more than three times the number of the Democratic
Party, at 23,000, and the number surpasses 71,000 for the
long-standing Komeito party, which had 35 seats and formed the ruling
coalition with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party.

The LDP, which held 287 seats in the 475-member lower house, has
some 110,000 followers. (Oct. 3)