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Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) is losing popularity and its disarray is putting its survival beyond year’s end in doubt, party coleader and Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto said, groping for ways to keep his group relevant and subtly different from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Facing reporters Monday, Hashimoto sought to slightly contrast his views with those of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the LDP leader, over the 1995 government statement apologizing for Japan’s role as aggressor in the war. He also said the LDP’s push to amend the Constitution would take power away from elected authority, calling this a dangerous gambit, which he didn’t elaborate on.

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