A private group advocating the introduction of a system to elect the prime minister by popular vote said Friday it will establish a new political body that will field candidates for nationwide local-level elections in April.

Nihon Frontier no Kai, led by Zenko Oda, said the new group will be based on individual participation and has more than 50 people ready to stand as candidates in the local elections.

The group will hold a news conference in Tokyo to formally announce the decision on Jan. 27.

The new grouping will consist mainly of people from the Matsushita Institute of Government and Management, which has backed a number of younger-generation politicians, including Yokohama Mayor Hiroshi Nakada.

Nakada and Kyocera Corp. Chairman Emeritus Kazuo Inamori are expected to be listed as promoters of the new group, which will also welcome official candidates from existing political parties or those who receive support from them.

In addition to the campaign to elect the prime minister by popular vote, Nihon Frontier no Kai advocates more autonomy for local governments and full disclosure of political funds.

Oda, who has called for public debates between candidates in elections, has also organized a policy-proposal group involving 3,000 people.

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