Two of three in Kokumin Shinto exit

Kyodo

Two lawmakers on Wednesday left the small opposition Kokumin Shinto (People’s New Party), which seeks to merge with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, making party head Shozaburo Jimi its only remaining Diet member.

Takeshi Noma of the Lower House and Kazuyuki Hamada of the Upper House will be independents for the time being.

Their departure followed Jimi’s request last week to the LDP to absorb the small party. The LDP has rejected the request. Kokumin Shinto was a ruling coalition partner of the Democratic Party of Japan until the LDP won the December general election.