TOKYO, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Japan's second-largest opposition party the Japan Restoration Party (JRP) formally decided to dissolve after an extraordinary party meeting in Osaka, local media reported Sunday.
According to Japan's Kyodo News Agency, the party's two co- leaders, Toru Hashimoto, who doubles as Osaka' s mayor and Shintaro Ishihara, a former Tokyo governor, decided on the breakup due to their disagreement over a proposed merger with the Unity Party, which is also an opposition party.
When the JRP decided in April to merge with the Unity Party, Ishihara demanded that his key goal of replacing Japan's pacifist Constitution be included in the merged party's policy agreement. Unity Party leader Kenji Eda, however, rejected Ishihara's idea.
After the dissolution, each leader of the JRP plans to form a new party, the report unveiled, adding the name of the JRP will be used by Hashimoto's group in the future.
The JRP was launched on Sept. 12, 2012 and gained official recognition on Sept. 28 the same year. It started as the regional Osaka Restoration Association, headed by Hashimoto and Ichiro Matsui, governor of Osaka Prefecture.
The party now has 62 lawmakers in the upper and lower houses of parliament. Thirty-seven are expected to join Hashimoto's group, while 23 plan to form a new party with Ishihara. The remaining two intend to become independent lawmakers.