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Nippon Ishin, Yui delay party merger plans

JIJI

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Yui no To (Unity Party) agreed Sunday to put off their merger until Sept. 21.

The agreement was made at a meeting in Nagoya between Nippon Ishin head Toru Hashimoto and Yui leader Kenji Eda. Other leading members of the parties also joined the meeting.

Nippon Ishin and Yui were initially scheduled to merge on Sept. 7, but decided to postpone the event because they thought it would be overshadowed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet reshuffle in the first week of September, executives of the two parties said.

In any case, the opposition parties need more time to reach agreements on major policy issues and the structure of the new party, people aware of the situation said, adding they have yet to narrow their differences over whether Japan should be able to exercise the right to collective self-defense.

At a joint news conference after the meeting, Hashimoto said he will not stick to the idea of having the new party adopt a coleader system.

The most important thing is to ensure party unity, Eda emphasized.