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Former Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano, who is set to leave the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party after severely criticizing the party leadership, and former trade minister Takeo Hiranuma confirmed Monday evening their plans to launch a new party by the end of the week.

Hiranuma, an independent who left the LDP in 2005, broke the news after meeting at a Tokyo restaurant with Yosano and other like-minded lawmakers to discuss the basic policies of the new party, its formal title and its membership.

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