Former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara said Thursday that he has decided to leave the opposition Democratic Party for the People, which has recently moved closer to the ruling bloc, to form a new force in parliament.

Maehara said at a news conference on Thursday that House of Councilors lawmaker Yukiko Kada, an anti-nuclear former governor of Shiga Prefecture, and three other lawmakers will join the new force.

"Even with a small number of members, we will strive to move forward in a new way," he said.