With their key political goal of merging Osaka’s administrative wards defeated for a second time, the focus for many in local political party Osaka Ishin no Kai (One Osaka) has turned to how — or even if — they can continue under a new generation of leadership, as well as what it means for their future in Osaka and, through their affiliated national political party Nippon Ishin no Kai, on the national political stage.

Sunday night’s rejection of the plan to merge Osaka’s 24 wards into four semi-autonomous wards went down to the wire. Despite polls by local media in September and early October showing supporters outnumbering those who were opposed, the gap narrowed during the last few days of October.

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