Former Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara on Tuesday launched a new conservative party with the aim of forming a “third force” to run in the next general elections. The new party, named Taiyo no To (Party of the Sun), is jointly headed by Ishihara and Takeo Hiranuma, veteran lawmaker and leader of the Opposition Sunrise Party of Japan.
The conservative Sunrise Party’s all five lawmakers, including Hiranuma, have joined the new party.
The formation of a new party is expected to re-write the political equations in Japan ahead of the looming House of Representatives election.
Before becoming Tokyo Governor in 1999, Ishihara was a lawmaker of the Liberal Democratic Party, and had served as a Cabinet Minister twice.
Ishihara has repeatedly said Japan needs a political realignment, and he has been in talks since last year on forming a new party with lawmakers including Hiranuma.