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Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012
Ishihara, Hiranuma unveil new party
By MIZUHO AOKI
Former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara launched his new political party Tuesday along with five lawmakers, vowing to create a "stronger and tougher Japan" by tying up with other small parties before the next Lower House election.
Ishihara's new party, Taiyo no To (The Sunrise Party), incorporated all five members of the conservative Tachiagare Nippon (Sunrise Party of Japan). Ishihara and Tachiagare Nippon chief Takeo Hiranuma were named the party's coleaders.
With the establishment of the party, Ishihara aims to form a third force to take down the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and keep the Liberal Democratic Party, the main opposition force, from regaining power in the next election, which could come as early as next month.
"Taiyo no To is merely a channel to form a coalition (with other small parties) regardless of minor differences," Ishihara told reporters. "We most definitely will unite (with other parties) in the common interest before the next election."
Hiranuma said the party will field candidates in 11 electoral blocs in the next election.
The party's key policy includes establishment of an independent Constitution, beefing up of Japan's defense capabilities, and fundamental reform of fiscal management and tax systems to make them more transparent.
The focus now will be on whether Taiyo no To can tie up with other parties, including Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto's Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and the small Your Party, despite fundamental differences in policies on the future of nuclear power and the upcoming consumption tax hike.
Top officials of Taiyo no To reportedly plan to have another meeting with Nippon Ishin no Kai on Saturday to discuss a tieup.
Ishihara, 80, a former novelist, abruptly quit the governor's job last month.