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In a move seen by many as a stepping stone toward the formation of a new opposition party, the Reform Council was launched on August 25 by 87 Diet members from four opposition parties.

The launch reinforces the lawmakers’ efforts to rival the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Holding its first session at a Diet room, the group said that 87 have applied for membership. Of the total, 53 lawmakers attended the session while the others sent secretaries as deputies.

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