I may have made a red herring out of the five-Diet member gathering with Hashimoto. Turns out they are members of a pluripartisan group of Diet members, including Yasutoshi Nishimura (LDP, lower house), who is likely to one of the last to jump ship if it comes to that, who are pushing the doshusei concept, which merges prefectures into a small number of super-regions. They made the trip to seek Mayor Hashimoto’s views, not to plot a third-party breakout with him.
Highly plausible, and probably true. But there was the shared background against the three-party compromise—why these guys, and not Nishimura, for instance—and this wouldn’t be the first time in human history that cabals were hatched under the guise of a innocuous gathering of people with a shared interest. I’d keep an eye on these guys.
That’s it for now. Very busy day ahead.