Tokyo Gov. Koike to launch own national party

Xinhua
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Monday announced her intention to launch her own national political party, according to local media reports.
Xinhua

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Monday announced her intention to launch her own national political party, according to local media reports.

Koike said in a briefing on the matter that she will be the leader of a new political party at the national level and that the party will be called "Kibou No To," which means Party of Hope in English.

Koike made the surprise announcement before Prime Minister Shinzo Abe started his meeting with his party executives and officially announced his contentious plans to dissolve the lower house of parliament and call a snap election.

The Tokyo governor's news following Koike's Tomin First no Kai's (Tokyoites First party) sweeping victory in the Tokyo metropolitan assembly race in July, seeing off challenges from rival parties including the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which Abe is also the president of.

The Tokyo metropolitan assembly race is widely regarded as a barometer for the future direction of national politics and triggered rumors that Koike was eyeing a return to national politics after her landslide win, as proved to be the case.

Koike served as a lower house member from 1993 to 2016 at which time she resigned to run in the gubernatorial election.

She previously held the defense minister portfolio in the Cabinet of Abe, but resigned in August 2007 after just 54 days in office.


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