The DPJ currently rents eight floors in a twelve-story building across the way from the National Diet Library in Nagata-cho, with floor space totaling approximately 3000 square meters. Modest perhaps, but appropriate for an opposition party.
Compare that with the LDP’s sprawling compound — with a security gate — not far from DPJ HQ, which is also twelve stories but which is owned by the party and has 13,657 meters of floor space. Is there a better example of the power wielded by the LDP as a party independent of the government than the scale of the party’s headquarters? Twelve stories with plenty of meeting space for the party’s many committees and subcommittees, easily accessible by car for bureaucrats coming from Kasumigaseki, and close to the Diet and Diet members’ office buildings. It is a building designed for a permanent ruling party.
The DPJ may well need more space for its HQ, but I hope that it does not copy the LDP when it comes to choosing a new headquarters. Presumably it should rent space — after all, it might one day be in opposition again and need to move back into smaller space. And it should keep its new digs modest, lacking room for an extensive network of party policy committees. Why not put architecture to work for the party’s goal of regime change, which, after all, is about subordinating both the bureaucracy and the ruling party to the cabinet? If the ruling party HQ is too small to accommodate large numbers of bureaucratic visitors, so much the better.