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Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Komeito rules out chance of forming DPJ-led coalition

Staff writer

New Komeito leader Akihiro Ota on Wednesday ruled out the option of forming a coalition with the Democratic Party of Japan should the leading opposition party win the next Lower House election.

The Liberal Democratic Party-New Komeito coalition is on the verge of losing power in the next election, and the loss would leave New Komeito vulnerable.

"It is generally said that a political realignment may occur after the election," Ota told reporters at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.

"But I would like to say one thing — we have worked together with the LDP for a long time and we will not readily switch immediately to the DPJ after the election," he added.

The race must be held by fall.

Ota also told the foreign press corps that the Lower House election could happen any time after the fiscal 2009 budget bills clear the Diet.

"I think that once the budget and related bills pass through the Diet, an election could happen any time. So my understanding is that the election could happen any time after mid-April," he said.

As prime minister, Taro Aso has the sole right to dissolve the House of Representatives and call a snap election.

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The Japan Times

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