Michihiko Kano, the party’s chief of public relations, announced Friday his wish to run for the top post, saying Shinshinto should become a “healthy opposition party” by completely renewing its management roster.

Kano has been critical of Ozawa’s quest for a conservative alliance with members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. “Shinshinto has not played its role as the largest opposition party,” Kano told a hastily arranged news conference Friday. “I have decided to act to restructure this party to make it a strong enough force to replace the ruling LDP.”

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