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Behind-the-scenes maneuvering in Osaka to create a new national political party and secure candidates for November’s mayoral and gubernatorial elections continued in Osaka last week, with speculation growing that Mayor Toru Hashimoto will seek to run in next summer’s Upper House poll.

The mayor, who heads the local Osaka Ishin no Kai (One Osaka) political party and was a co-founder of Ishin no To (Japan Innovation Party), replied to a question Thursday about whether he’d stand for a seat in the Upper House by saying it was a decision for the future. He has no plans to run in the Nov. 22 mayoral poll.

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