Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, who quit the Japan Innovation Party with co-founder and Osaka Gov Ichiro Matsui last week over differences with the current leadership, told supporters over the weekend that he plans to form a new party based in Osaka.
Hashimoto will step down as Osaka mayor after his term expires in December. However, he said he wants to turn the Osaka Restoration Party into a national force that can make a strong challenge in next summer's upper house elections, Fuji TV reported Sunday.
Hashimoto said he will not run as a candidate and added that this would be his last job in politics.
Hashimoto said he did not want to bring about the demise of the Japan Innovation Party. Nevertheless, Japanese media have speculated that some of the Japan Innovation Party's Diet members (40 in the lower house and 11 in the upper house) may jump ship to join Hashimoto's new party.
Hashimoto said the first big test will be whether Osaka Restoration Party candidates can win the Osaka mayoral and gubernatorial elections on Nov 22.© Japan Today