Former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara is set to launch his new party Tuesday in the run-up for the next general election, which must be held no later than next summer but could be come as early as next month.
Ishihara, known for his nationalistic views, is expected to announce the name, platform and policies of the new party at a news conference. The party will incorporate all five members of the conservative opposition Sunrise Party.
The 80-year-old Ishihara aims to form a “third force” that will challenge the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and main opposition Liberal Democratic Party in the looming Lower House election.
He has been seeking to join hands with the minor opposition Your Party and Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto’s Nihon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party).
Ishihara, a longtime China critic, abruptly announced in late October he was quitting as governor and forming a new political party.
Sunrise Party chief Takeo Hiranuma and Secretary General Hiroyuki Sonoda are among the five lawmakers who join the new party.