Osaka mayor sets up new political party ahead of election

Featured - September 10th, 2012
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Osaka mayor Toru Hashimoto has launched a new political party ahead of the House of Representative election later this year, Financial Times reports.

The Nihon Ishin no Kai or “Japan Restoration Association” took off from the former Osaka Ishin no Kai (Osaka restoration group). The group decided to retain the name “Ishin no Kai” and included “Japan” to introduce a new party that will take part in state affairs, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun. The new party, led by Hashimoto, pledged to reduce the country’s bureaucracy and is seeking a significant portion of the 480 seats in the lower chamber of parliament in the next general election.

Mr. Hashimoto, 43, was a lawyer and a TV personality before winning the mayoral election in Osaka. He was known for streamlining administrative structures across the country. “We will insert the surgical knife of reform into the state’s governing structure to make things the way they should be,” the outspoken mayor said of the Osaka bill passed by parliament last week that enables Osaka and nine other cities to establish special administrative wards.