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Nippon Ishin not an ally in race, DPJ says

JIJI

The Democratic Party of Japan does not plan to cooperate with Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) in the Upper House election this summer.

“We will not cooperate with Ishin,” DPJ Secretary General Goshi Hosono told a news conference Monday after a party executive meeting.

As a result, opposition candidates will run against each other in many districts. A similar situation happened in the Lower House election in December to the advantage of the Liberal Democratic Party.

The DPJ took the decision because its view on the Constitution is totally different from that of Nippon Ishin, Hosono said.

The DPJ aims to field its own candidates in pretty much all constituencies and will not cooperate with any other opposition parties, Hosono said.

Nippon Ishin has agreed to cooperate with Your Party in several districts.

Hirano to quit DPJ

Kyodo

Former reconstruction minister Tatsuo Hirano submitted notice Tuesday to the Democratic Party of Japan expressing his intention to leave the party, according to DPJ members.

Hirano, a 58-year-old Upper House member representing Iwate Prefecture, intends to run for re-election this summer as an independent.

The DPJ’s leadership, which had been trying to persuade him to stay, will discuss how to respond to the notice at an executive board meeting.

Hirano took over the reconstruction portfolio in July 2011, overseeing work to rebuild areas in the northeast damaged in the March 2011 disasters.

A former farm ministry bureaucrat, Hirano was first elected to the Upper House in 2001 and is serving his second six-year term.