Regional political party Tomin First no Kai (Tokyoites First), which was founded by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, on Sunday announced the launch of a national party.
The new party, called First no Kai, will be headed by Tomin First leader Chiharu Araki, a Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly member.
"We've often been frustrated that the voices of Tokyo residents do not reach the national political world," Araki said. Of the five major assembly factions, Tomin First is the only one without a seat in the Diet, Japan's parliament.
The new party will field candidates in this autumn's Lower House election, mainly in Tokyo, Araki told a news conference.
Koike, a special adviser to Tomin First, will not run in the Lower House election, Araki said, expressing a wish to cooperate closely with the Tokyo governor in the general election.
First no Kai is a "conservative centrist" party set up with a strong sense of crisis amid mounting concerns about a divide that may be emerging in Japan, Araki said.
She criticized other conservative parties for deviating significantly from past positions and opposition parties for shifting further to the left to please voters ahead of elections.
The name First no Kai reflects the party's wish to "protect what each individual in the country thinks is most important, such as lives, livelihoods and health," Araki said.
In its platform, First no Kai is defined as a conservative but reform-minded party seeking new ways of politics and government, with emphasis on the promotion of decentralization, information disclosure and diversity.
First no Kai will publicly solicit candidates in the Lower House election and invite Diet members to participate in the party, she said.
"We're ready to talk with people willing to share views with us," she added.
Araki denied that the party is in talks with the Democratic Party for the People for a possible alliance.
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