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Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) head Toru Hashimoto expressed criticism and disappointment Thursday over an agreement between former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara’s Taiyo no To (The Sunrise Party) and Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura’s Genzei Nippon (Tax Reduction Japan) to unite ahead of the Lower House election expected next month.

The agreement between Ishihara and Kawamura leaves Hashimoto the odd man out. Ishin no Kai officials say the chances of formally joining Taiyo no To and Genzei Nippon in a grand coalition are now extremely slim due to fundamental differences over the consumption tax, nuclear power, constitutional revision and the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade accord.

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