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Koike asks Hosono to reform natl politics

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike met with former Japanese Environment Minister Goshi Hosono, who defected from the country’s biggest opposition Democratic Party in August, on Monday and asked him to reform national politics “with a sense of speed.”

House of Representatives member Masaru Wakasa, who is close to the popular governor of the Japanese capital, joined the meeting, held at a restaurant in Tokyo. The meeting, arranged by Wakasa, was the first among the three.

Hosono, also a member of the lower house, and Wakasa, who left the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in July and is now an independent lawmaker, are aiming to form a new party for national politics by the end of this year.

At the meeting, Koike gave an explanation about challenges facing the Tokyo metropolitan government, while Hosono and Wakasa reported progress in their talks on the establishment of the envisaged new political party.

Koike effectively leads regional party Tomin First no Kai (Tokyoites first group), which won the July 2 Tokyo metropolitan assembly election to replace the LDP as the biggest force there.

“I’ve now realized anew that it’s necessary to establish a new reform-minded group also in national politics,” Hosono told reporters after the meeting.

He indicated that Koike will distance herself from the party envisaged by Hosono and Wakasa, saying, “The governor’s position is different from ours because she is in charge of metropolitan government issues.”

On media reports that some DP lawmakers close to Hosono are also considering leaving the party, he said, “I wish to work with them.”Speech

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