'Sunrise Party' Launched to Oppose DPJ (2)

1 Name: Unverified Source : 2010-04-24 04:02 ID:obzPTP41

Former trade minister Takeo Hiranuma, former Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano and three other veteran lawmakers launched a new party Saturday amid questions about its ability to be a potent alternative to existing parties.

Headed by Hiranuma, 70, the Sunrise Party of Japan will aim to field candidates for the House of Councillors election this summer under the banner of opposing the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and pursuing a "revival of Japan" and a "realignment of political forces."

"Today's politics, which is conducted by the DPJ government, will ruin this country," Hiranuma, a former member of the Liberal Democratic Party, said at a news conference for the party's launch. "I have risen up to work hard for this precious Japan by staking my entire political career on it."

The new party advocates drastic tax reforms, a hike in the consumption tax rate and crafting a new constitution. It will also call for economic growth and the nation's fiscal rehabilitation, while aiming to devise a sustainable social security system.

Yosano, who was designated as the new party's co-leader, characterized its position as "anti-DPJ" and "non-LDP," telling the same news conference, "The DPJ has no philosophy or thought on politics, while the LDP doesn't have a strong enough spirit to fight as an opposition party."

Saturday's move came after Yosano, 71, and others left the main opposition LDP, dealing another blow to a party that is struggling to reassert itself following its defeat by the DPJ in last summer's historic general election.

The other founding members are former LDP Acting Secretary General Hiroyuki Sonoda, 68, former transport minister Takao Fujii, 67, and former Cabinet Office Senior Vice Minister Yoshio Nakagawa, 72. Fujii and Nakagawa are upper house members.

The Sunrise Party of Japan is the first political party eligible upon its launch to receive subsidies and other benefits under law since the founding last August of Your Party, a small party led by a LDP defector. To be eligible for such support, a political party is required to have at least five lawmakers as members.

Hiranuma left the LDP in 2005, when it was still a dominant ruling party, over his opposition to the privatization of postal services, while the rest tendered their resignations to the LDP over the past week.

The five lawmakers jointly announced the launch of the party, called "Tachiagare Nippon" in Japanese, at a Tokyo hotel. Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, who supports the party and came up with its Japanese name, also attended the event.

The party is aiming to field more than 10 candidates in the proportional representation section during the upcoming election, expected to be held in July, in a bid to prevent the DPJ from securing an outright majority in the upper chamber.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's DPJ already has a commanding presence in the more powerful House of Representatives following its landslide victory in the general election.

The new party may field candidates not just in the Tokyo constituency but in electoral districts in other urban areas, such as Kanagawa, Saitama and Osaka prefectures, Yosano said on a TV Tokyo program earlier Saturday.

Referring to the new party's goal of opposing the DPJ and spurring a political realignment, Hatoyama told reporters on Saturday, "The DPJ has pursued (the realization of) very big reforms after the change of government, so I don't mean to turn back the clock."

But "it's not a bad thing for politicians to work hard with and learn from each other to create a new political movement," he added.

Meanwhile, LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki expressed regret about the defections of Yosano and the others but vowed to reinvigorate the LDP to win the upper house election.

Read the rest here: http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20100410p2g00m0fp035000c.html

2 Name: Unverified Source : 2010-06-24 00:11 ID:tsMGPi+T

My brain tried to parse the title of this as "Surprise Party." >_<;

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