FOCUS: Tomin First's National Party Aiming to Gain Influence

Politics

Tokyo, Oct. 4 (Jiji Press)--First no Kai, the new political party set up Sunday by regional party Tomin First no Kai (Tokyoites first group) with the aim of securing seats in the Diet, Japan's parliament, is set to work on gaining influence in national politics.

"We've been frustrated to see the voices of Tokyo residents not reaching the national political world," Tomin First leader Chiharu Araki told a press conference Sunday. Of the five major groups in the Tokyo metropolitan assembly, Tomin First, linked to Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, is the only one without a seat in the Diet.

Following the launch of the new party, some in the ruling and opposition parties in national politics are cautious about moves that Koike, special adviser to Tomin First, may take in the lead-up to this autumn's election for the House of Representatives, the all-important lower chamber of the Diet.

At the press conference, Araki criticized the national government over its response to the novel coronavirus crisis, saying, "Even though local governments ask the state for the declaration of a state of emergency, the central government is slow to act and countermeasures are not implemented quickly as a result."

The central government does not want to lose its control over finances or transfer its authority to local governments, she said. "If we continue limiting our activities to politics in Tokyo, we would be unable to carve out a future for Tokyo and elsewhere in the country," Araki said, explaining the reason for establishing the new party.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press