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Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012

LDP, Komeito to team up for election

Staff writer

The two main opposition groups agreed Friday to cooperate in the next general election as speculation continued over whether Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will live up to his promise and call a Lower House vote "soon."

The Liberal Democratic Party's newly elected president, Shinzo Abe, and New Komeito chief Natsuo Yamaguchi also agreed to pressure Noda to dissolve the lower chamber by year's end during their first official meeting since Abe took the helm of the LDP late last month.

But the two have not been able to make any further plans because Noda has yet to contact them over holding a trilateral meeting, in an apparent attempt to delay an election that would likely see many members of his ruling Democratic Party of Japan lose their seats.

The schedule of the upcoming extraordinary Diet session to deliberate key legislation, including a bill to issue deficit-covering bonds that would fund 40 percent of the fiscal 2012 budget, still has not been decided either.

Abe and Yamaguchi said they want to make sure in the trilateral meeting that Noda, who was re-elected head of the DPJ by a landslide Sept. 21, will keep the pledge he made in August to Yamaguchi and former LDP leader Sadakazu Tanigaki to dissolve the Lower House sometime "soon" in exchange for their cooperation in passing the sales tax hike bill in the divided Diet.

"We haven't received an official proposal (from Noda) yet. I admit I'm confused" by the prime minister's failure to contact us yet, Yamaguchi said after meeting with Abe.

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The Japan Times

Article 9 of 15 in National news

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