National / Politics

Inoki joins four other Upper House members to form new party

Kyodo

Wrestler-turned-politician Antonio Inoki, who left the conservative Jisedai no To (Party for Future Generations) last month, will set up a new political party with four other Upper House lawmakers, according to sources close to the move.

The new party will be named Party to Revitalize Japan and will be headed by Kota Matsuda, a former Your Party member and founder of the nationwide Tully’s Coffee Japan Co. chain. Matsuda and the three others had belonged to Your Party until the small opposition party decided to disband in November. The three members are Yoshiyuki Inoue, Kazuyuki Yamaguchi and Taro Yamada.

Inoki exited Jisedai no To following the party’s crushing defeat in the Dec. 14 Lower House election, when only two of its 48 candidates won seats in the 475-seat chamber.

They will likely report it to general affairs minister on Thursday through the election administration commission in Tokyo. The new party will aim to create a small government by promoting deregulation and administrative reforms.