The leader of the opposition Your Party has indicated that he intends to renege on an agreement to cooperate with the Japan Restoration Party in the upcoming Upper House election. The decision is thought to be a result of offensive comments made by its Osaka Mayor and Restoration Party co-leader Toru Hashimoto on the issue of the so-called “comfort women” during World War Two.
Your Party’s Yoshimi Watanabe told reporters that, “I don’t understand the type of person who freely continues to say things that destroy public trust. We appear to be straying off course,” TBS reported Monday.
If the Your Party splits from the Japan Restoration Party, it is expected to field candidates in districts that the Japan Restoration Party is also aiming to win. However, some Your Party members have expressed fears over the split. As a result, a party spokesperson said Monday it has sent a questionnaire to the Japan Restoration Party and will base its course of action on the answers to those questions.
The Your Party and the Japan Restoration Party had announced plans to work together in fielding candidates in 25 constituencies in the House of Councillors election to be held this summer. However, Hashimoto is under fire at home and abroad for claiming that comfort women were necessary to maintain military discipline.
Hashimoto said he will clarify his views at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo on May 27.