National / Politics

Ishin, Yui agree on new party title, offices

by Mizuho Aoki

Staff Writer

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Yui no To (Unity Party) agreed Sunday to keep the word “Ishin” in the name of their new party to be launched on Sept. 21 after the two opposition parties complete their merger.

The two also agreed that the new party will have two “head offices” — one in Osaka and one in Tokyo. But the one in Osaka has been designated as the party’s “main office,” according to a statement released following a board meeting in Tokyo.

In an apparent political fight over which side should take the initiative over party management — the Osaka-based Ishin members or Tokyo-based Yui no To — members from both parties have been at odds over the party’s name and where its head office should be situated.

Yui no To’s members argued that the name should not include “Ishin” and Ishin members demanded that the head office be put in Osaka.

Nippon Ishin head Toru Hashimoto and Yui leader Kenji Eda will decide on a name that includes “Ishin” on Wednesday.

According to Sunday’s agreement, the new party will have two co-leaders for the first year, choosing one from Ishin and the other from Yui, the statement said. Hashimoto and Eda are expected to fill the roles.

“We were at odds at first. But the members of Yui made a concession,” Hashimoto told reporters after a meeting of executives from the two parties in Tokyo on Sunday.

With the expected merger of Nippon Ishin, which has 38 Diet members, and Yui no To, which has 14, the new party will become the second-largest opposition force in the Lower House after the Democratic Party of Japan.