Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and former Tokyo Gov Shintaro Ishihara have decided to stay on as co-leaders of the Nippon Ishin No Kai (Japan Restoration Party), despite its heavy defeat in Sunday's Tokyo metropolitan assembly election.
Hashimoto had suggested last week that he would step down as co-leader of the party if it fared badly in the election. The Japan Restoration Party won just two seats, which Hashimoto acknowledged was due to the storm over his remarks on Japan’s wartime military brothels.
However, he told reporters Monday that now was not the time to quit and that he wanted to focus his efforts on the crucial July 21 upper house election. "I take responsibility for the results in the Tokyo election, but I am asking the public to give us a mandate in the upper house election. We cannot let the LDP take control of both houses of the Diet," he said at a news conference, TBS reported.
In the days preceding Sunday's election, Hashimoto stayed largely out of view. On election day, he was in Okinawa attending a ceremony marking the 68th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa.
Meanwhile, Ishihara, 80, apologized to supporters for his lack of campaigning. He told reporters in Tokyo that he couldn't get around as much anymore because of his age, TBS reported. "What we now have to do is regroup and fight in the next election," he said.
Meanwhile, Banri Kaieda, head of the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) also said he will stay on, despite the fact his party now only has 15 seats, making it No. 4 in metropolitan assembly after the LDP, New Komeito and Japanese Communist Party.© Japan Today