Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto on Monday made the rounds of Japan's major political parties, sounding out some of the opposition parties for possible alliances in the run-up to a lower house election expected later this year.
Hashimoto's Japan Restoration Party intends to field candidates in the election.
In a busy day, Hashimoto met Your Party leader Yoshimi Watanabe, Liberal-Democratic Party (LDP) President Shinzo Abe, New Komeito party head Natsuo Yamaguchi, People's Life First party leader Ichiro Ozawa and the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary-General Azuma Koshiishi.
Hashimoto told reporters afterward that he had policy discussions with each of the leaders and said he was looking to join hands with some of the smaller opposition parties in the next election to create a viable alternative to the two main parties.
During his current visit to Tokyo, Hashimoto also met with Tokyo Gov Shintaro Ishihara. While details of their meeting weren't disclosed, Hashimoto said he learned a lot from Ishihara about Japan's constitution and foreign policy issues and said that he intends to keep in touch with the governor, NHK reported.© Japan Today