Tomio Fujii, a representative of Komei, a political party consisting of Upper House members and about 3,000 local assembly members, indicated on April 16 that the party would accept a possible alliance between Shinshinto and the Liberal Democratic Party if it is formed to carry out economic reforms and save the nation from economic stagnation.

“(The alliance) would be acceptable if it is to carry out in earnest reforms to break the economic standstill for the sake of the nation,” Fujii told a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo. Fujii confirmed Komei’s policy of eventually joining Shinshinto, which has been rocked by a scandal involving Orange Kyosai Kumiai, a mutual aid society.

He said that Komei members of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly will only consider such a merger after the July 6 election for the assembly. The possible formation of a so-called “ho-ho-rengo” (conservative-conservative alliance) between Shinshinto and the LDP has attracted a great deal of public attention since Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and Shinshinto leader Ichiro Ozawa recently held a meeting to discuss issues concerning U.S. forces stationed in Okinawa.

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