Hashimoto group to seek party status

JIJI

Popular Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto’s regional political group plans to win legal party status before the next Lower House election, a senior member of the group said.

The group, Osaka Ishin no Kai (One Osaka), will also bolster its ranks by adding at least five Diet members, Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui, secretary general of the group, said at a news conference Wednesday.

Another senior member said the group will ask lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and opposition parties, including the Liberal Democratic Party and Your Party, to join.

The group has about 100 members, including members of the Osaka Prefectural Assembly, but no Diet members.