The Democratic Party was a liberal political party in Japan. The first incarnation of the party, the "Democratic Party" (Minshuto) was founded in 1996, consisting of former Social Democratic Party of Japan politicians who opposed an alliance with the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan. In 1998, the party, Good Governance, New Fraternity, and Democratic Reform merged into the new "Democratic Party of Japan", which would become the largest opposition party in Japan. The Democratic Party of Japan and its LDP rivals fought for control of the government during the 1990s and 2000s, and the DPJ made itself stronger by merging with the Japan Innovation Party to form the new Democratic Party on 27 March 2016. The new party was a big tent party, as it included the moderate centrist "Kan Group", the social democratic "Akamatsu Group", the conservative-nationalist "Maehara Group", the liberal "Genba Group", the democratic socialist "Takagi Group", the progressive "Ohata Group", the social democratic "Yokomichi Group", the conservative "Hosono Group", the moderate-conservative "Noda Group", the progressive-liberal "Hiraoka-Kondo", the conservative-nationalist "Nagashima Group", and the moderate centrist "Hata Group". However, the party's views were mostly aligned with social liberalism. In September 2017, the party split into new parties ahead of the legislative elections, with its candidates running for the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan or Kibo no To.