Shiga Prefecture governor Yukiko Kada announced Tuesday that she will form a new party, the Nippon Mirai no To or “Japan Future Party,” to focus on eradicating nuclear power in Japan and eliminating wasteful government spending. Within hours, at least two parties have announced their intention to join forces to create a political force that will face the two majors, the Democratic Party of Japan and the Liberal Democratic Party, in the December 16 elections.
Veteran politician Ichiro Ozawa‘s People’s Life First party will disband and merge with Kada’s party, according to acting head Kenji Yamaoka. Similarly, Genzei Nippon‘s (Tax-cuts Japan) Masahiko Yamada expressed the party’s desire to team up with the Japan Future Party. Co-leader and Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura hopes that they can create a major coalition for the common people. Both parties are made up of former DPJ members who left the party over leader Yoshihiko Noda’s tax hike stance. Kada will lead the party but Tetsunari Iida, executive director of the Institute of Sustainable Energy Policies, will become acting leader.
Kada’s party is, however, not the only new party that is aiming for a “third force” role. Osaka mayor Toru Hashimoto’s Japan Restoration Party is also claiming the title. Kada and Hashimoto previously worked together to push for anti-nuclear energy policies. But ever since Japan Restoration’s merger with the Sunrise Party, led by pro-nuclear Shintaro Ishihara, Hashimoto has backtracked on his commitment, to the disappointment of Kada and other potential partners. Your Party leader Yoshi Watanabe told reporters that they will not be joining Japan Restoration Party because of critical policy differences brought in by the Sunrise Party.
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