• Kyodo

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Former Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Muneo Suzuki plans to announce the establishment of a new party in Hokkaido as early as Thursday to field several candidates, including himself, in the Sept. 11 general election, according to sources close to him.

The party may become a political storm center because its candidates could affect the chances of Liberal Democratic Party heavyweights in Hokkaido, including LDP Secretary General Tsutomu Takebe from the Hokkaido No. 12 district and Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura from the Hokkaido No. 5 district, according to political sources.

Suzuki said earlier he may run in the Hokkaido No. 7 district, where he had been elected previously.

He more is likely, however, to run in the proportional-representation section in the Hokkaido area, as it is more likely to win him a seat, and field candidates in single-seat districts in Hokkaido, where he still has a number of supporters, the sources said.

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