Koike's New Party Seeks to "Reset Japan" (News)


Tokyo, Sept. 27 (Jiji Press)—Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko said Wednesday Kibō no Tō (party of hope), a new political party headed by her, will aim to "reset Japan" with bold reforms and politics not constrained by vested interests.

"I'm launching Kibō no Tō in order to reset Japan," Koike told a press conference to mark her party's establishment. "Now is the time to be bold and carry out politics with no strings attached."

Koike said she will stay on as Tokyo governor and not run in the election for the House of Representatives, the all-important lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, to be held in October.

The press conference was also attended by 14 lawmakers who joined the new party, including Wakasa Masaru, a Lower House member close to Koike, and former Environment Minister Hosono Gōshi, a defector from the main opposition Democratic Party.

Koike said a political vacuum should never be created at a time when the threats from North Korea's nuclear and missile development are increasing.

LDP, Kōmeitō Affirm Solidarity in Lower House Poll

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Kōmeitō, on Wednesday affirmed their solidarity in the next election for the House of Representatives, aiming to win a combined majority in the all-important lower chamber.

At a meeting of executives, the two parties shared the view that the election will be a "tough battle," after Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko announced the launch of Kibō no Tō (Party of Hope).

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō said he would resign if the ruling bloc loses a majority in the Lower House of the Diet, Japan's parliament, when he announced his decision on Monday to dissolve the chamber for a snap election.

The executives agreed that their parties will support each other's candidates in the October 22 election.

Meanwhile, the two parties saw no special need to coordinate their campaign promises as they discuss basic policies on a regular basis.

DP Eyes Merger with Liberal Party, Cooperation with Koike's Party

Democratic Party leader Maehara Seiji held talks with veteran lawmaker Ozawa Ichirō, head of the Liberal Party, on Tuesday and agreed to consider merging their parties before the next House of Representatives election set for next month, informed sources said Wednesday.

Following the envisaged merger, Maehara and Ozawa will aim to cooperate with Kibō no Tō, or Party of Hope, just created by Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko, on coordinating candidates for the upcoming election for the all-important chamber of the Diet, the sources said.

The focal point is whether Maehara will move forward with the integration with the LP despite some DP members' protest, observers said.

The Maehara-Ozawa meeting was joined by Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengō) President Kōzu Rikio, who is seen supporting the merger plan, the sources said.

Meanwhile, DP Lower House member Yunoki Michiyoshi met with the party's Secretary-General Ōshima Atsushi and presented a written request for the "constructive breakup" of the party to facilitate cooperation among opposition parties in the upcoming election to counter the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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