National / Politics

Hosono signals intent to reach agreement with Koike ally, possibly launch new party by year-end

JIJI

Former Environment Minister Goshi Hosono on Thursday said he’d like to launch a new party with Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike’s ally Masaru Wakasa by year-end.

Hosono, who left the main opposition Democratic Party earlier this month, also said he aims to reach an agreement on key policy issues with Wakasa, an independent in the House of Representatives, before the expected extraordinary Diet session convenes in autumn.

“The end of the year would be a possible juncture,” Hosono told reporters of his plan to set up the party he is discussing with Wakasa.

Hosono, who is also a member of the Lower House, expressed confidence that the two lawmakers are headed in a similar direction on policy.

He also mentioned Akihisa Nagashima, who was ousted from the DP for tendering his resignation in an important period ahead of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election in July. Nagashima is “worth cooperating with,” Hosono said.

Hosono criticized DP presidential candidate Yukio Edano for proposing that candidates be fielded to defeat Hosono and Nagashima in the next Lower House election.

Edano “supports cooperation with the Japanese Communist Party while trying to send ‘assassins’ against a group striving to establish a two-party system. I can’t understand it,” Hosono said.

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