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2 opposition parties to form parliamentary alliance

Tokyo, Jan. 24 (Jiji Press) — Yuichiro Tamaki, head of the Democratic Party for the People, and Liberal Party leader Ichiro Ozawa agreed Thursday to form a parliamentary alliance between the two opposition parties in both chambers of Japan’s parliament.

The party leaders also reached an agreement to start policy discussions between the two parties with the aim of joining forces.

The agreements were approved at a meeting of DPFP members in both parliamentary chambers.

“We’ll work to create a large opposition group,” Tamaki told a news conference after the meeting with Ozawa.

“The role of opposition parties is to show to the public an alternative option for the (ruling) Liberal Democratic Party,” Tamaki stressed.

Ozawa said, “Our final goal is to gather opposition parties and unite (them) for common purposes.”

The new parliamentary group of the DPFP and the LP will have 39 seats in the House of Representatives, the lower chamber.

In the House of Councillors, the group will control 27 seats, topping the 25 seats held by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.

The CDPJ hopes to work with the Social Democratic Party, which has two Upper House seats, and another two-member group in the upper chamber.

Tetsuro Fukuyama, secretary-general of the CDPJ, asked SDP leader Seiji Mataichi on Thursday to join the CDPJ in its Upper House group. Mataichi suggested that his party will meet the request.

On Tuesday night, DPFP chief Tamaki held talks with LP leader Ozawa and informed the veteran politician of his intention to launch intraparty preparations in the DPFP for a merger of the two parties. He was entrusted by the general council of his party on Wednesday with negotiations with Ozawa.

The agreement to form a parliamentary alliance came after some DPFP lawmakers expressed caution about a merger.

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