Toru Hashimoto and Shintaro Ishihara, the two co-leaders declared to split the Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party: JRP) on 28th May, 2014.
The Japan Times: Hashimoto, Ishihara to break up Nippon Ishin; opposition realignment seen accelerating
JRP is the third largest party in Japan. Recently, Toru Hashimoto was planning to merge Yui no Toh (Unity Party: UP), for rearrangement of opposing parties. However, UP is opposed to reform the constitution, in spite of the intention of Shintaro Ishihara. This difference became a decisive fissure between Hashimoto and Ishihara.
To be honest, I predicted that the two giants would not get along with each other forever. Ishihara is a typical nationalist, as well as Hashimoto, who was broadly criticized when referring to comfort women. But Ishihara is a quite conservative person. Instead, Hashimoto has big doubtfulness against the current social situation. It was impossible for them to progress on the same way.
Ishihara is estimated to take ten or more lawmakers along his own. It will be painful for the JRP. It is difficult for the JRP to take an advantage in lower house, even if it merges UP. Ruling Liberal Democratic Party will be safe for a while.