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Sunday, March 27, 2016, 16:01

Largest opposition party formed in Japan

By Xinhua
Largest opposition party formed in Japan
In this Jan 26, 2016 file photo, main opposition Democratic Party of Japan leader Katsuya Okada speaks during a plenary session in t he House of Representatives at the Diet in Tokyo. (AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI)

TOKYO - The largest Japanese opposition party since the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration formed in late 2012 was established here on Sunday, eyeing confrontation with the Abe-led ruling bloc in the summer's upper house election.

The newly formed party Minshinto, or the Democratic Party, came through the merge of two major opposition parties of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the Japan Innovation Party, with DPJ chief Katsuya Okada was elected as the new party's head.

Calling the form of the new party as historic, Okada said in his speech at the party's inauguration that freedom, coexistence and responsibility for the future are the inaugural philosophy with which they start the Minshinto.

Okada also criticized that the Japanese public's basic rights are threatened and the country's pacifism is also endangered under the Abe administration, saying the new party aims at stopping the current government's "runaway" policy and finally to topple the Abe-led ruling camp.

The Democratic Party will hold a presidential polling in September. Okada said earlier that if the party made no progress in summer's upper house election, he will not to run in the leadership race.

The new opposition party currently consists 156 seats in Japan's bicameral national Diet, with 96 in the all-powerful lower house and 60 in the upper house. However, the ruling coalition secured over two thirds seats in the lower house and majority of the 242-seat upper house.

On Sunday, Kenji Eda, a former leader of the Japan Innovation Party, was elected as an acting leader of the Democratic Party.

Former DPJ Secretary General Yukio Edano serves as the new party's secretary general, while Shiori Yamao, a former DPJ member, was picked as the party's policy chief.

The DPJ was ousted from the ruling position in December 2012 by Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) during a general election for the lower house.

The LDP formed current ruling camp with its small partner of the Komeito Party thereafter.

The DPJ also lost its majority in the upper house in 2013 in the chamber's election.

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