Maverick mayor launches new Japan party
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.