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Maverick mayor launches new Japan party

Published on Sep 12, 2012 10:44 PM
Popular Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto (bottom L) toasts with members of his new Japan Restoration Party at a fund-raising party in this photo taken by Kyodo in Osaka, western Japan on Sept 12, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - The maverick mayor of Osaka, Mr Toru Hashimoto, launched his national party onto Japan's political stage on Wednesday, vowing to chart a new course for the country.

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Association) will field 350 candidates across Japan in general elections expected later this year, with the aim of seizing a majority of seats in the powerful lower house.

"Great battles will start from today. I would like to create Japan's new course together," Mr Hashimoto told a ceremony in Osaka, his powerbase and the headquarters of the new party, according to Kyodo News.

"Our mission is to present a third option to voters" in upcoming polls, the 43-year-old said.

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