Former Japanese Foreign Minister Maehara launches new party

TOKYO, Dec 01 (NHK) - Former Japanese Foreign Minister Maehara Seiji has left the opposition Democratic Party for the People to form a new party with four other members of the Diet.

Maehara was deputy leader of the DPP. He left the party on Thursday, and held a news conference later in the day with the four lawmakers who will join him in the new endeavor.

He criticized the DPP for looking for ways to step up cooperation with the administration of Prime Minister Kishida Fumio in the hope of getting it to agree to adopt the DPP's policy proposals.

Maehara said that he is forming a new party to help bring together a coalition of opposition parties based on the idea of "not the Liberal Democratic Party nor the Communist Party," with the aim of forcing the LDP out of power.

He said he wants to work with anyone who can share his policy positions and ideals.

Maehara said the new party will aim to introduce free education, as well as student loan debts forgiveness.

The four other members of the new party include three lawmakers who are also from the DPP, and one independent Lower House member.

Maehara served as foreign minister and transport minister when the Democratic Party of Japan was in power. That party later split into the DPP and the largest opposition Constitutional Democratic Party.

Dec 01 (ANNnewsCH) - 国民民主党の前原誠司代表代行が離党して、新党「教育無償化を実現する会」を立ち上げることが分かりました。  ...continue reading

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