Nine DPJ defectors tap 3/11 buzzword for new party

Kyodo

Nine lawmakers who quit the ruling Democratic Party of Japan last month in protest over plans to raise the consumption tax officially registered their new party Wednesday, sources said.

Kizuna, a term that means solidarity or bonds between people that gained new currency amid the aftermath of the March 11 disasters, was founded by the nine lawmakers last Friday and will be headed by Akira Uchiyama.

As the new party was established before Jan. 1 and has more than five Diet members, it is entitled to receive state subsidies. By law, political parties established before Jan. 1 can get state subsidies in the new year.

As well as opposing Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s plan to increase the consumption tax, the fledgling party will also campaign against Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade negotiations, the sources said.

The new party was registered with the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry by Uchiyama, a Lower House lawmaker elected from Chiba Prefecture, according to the sources.