Ishihara, Hashimoto discuss tieup

Kyodo

Former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara met Saturday with Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and Tachiagare Nippon (Sunrise Party of Japan) chief Takeo Hiranuma in the city of Kyoto to discuss how or even if they will be able to cooperate in the next general election.

Hashimoto, who also heads Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), is seeking to form an alliance with Ishihara but apparently remains reluctant to team up with Tachiagare Nippon, a minor opposition party, due to crucial policy differences.

However, the three agreed to continue negotiations on forming a “third force” to take on the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party at the next Lower House election, according to some of the meeting’s participants.

“We’ll discuss various issues from this point on,” Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui, also secretary general of Nippon Ishin no Kai, told reporters after the meeting. “We decided to continue negotiations.”

Ishihara, who plans to form a new national political party soon by incorporating Tachiagare Nippon, has also been seeking to join hands with small opposition group Your Party in the runup to a widely anticipated general election.

Meanwhile, Shizuka Kamei, the former leader of Kokumin Shinto (People’s New Party), the DPJ’s junior coalition partner, stated on a TV Tokyo program that he does not intend to join Ishihara’s envisioned party.