Shinshinto’s third national convention on April 23 adopted a set of policy agenda resolutions stating, among other things, that the party will work harder to overthrow the administration of Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and that it will also work with his Liberal Democratic Party to realize reforms.

The contradictory stance adopted by Shinshinto, the largest opposition party, reflects the difficult situation it is in.

The adopted agenda criticized Hashimoto for his inability to carry out six major reforms vowed in his policy pledges. But it also stated that Shinshinto should seek to cooperate with those who share the same ideals and policies to realize reforms to rebuild the nation for the 21st century.

When asked by a representative of a local Shinshinto chapter if the party leadership intends to form a conservative-conservative tieup with the LDP, Ozawa replied that it is not about whether the two entire parties join forces, but about whether Shinshinto will work with the LDP to achieve the same policy goals for reform.

He told reporters that he would cooperate with the LDP if there was a possibility that any administrative, economic, or financial reforms can be realized. Shinshinto was formed in December 1994 with the aim of forming a political force strong enough to dislodge the LDP.

However, it is believed that Ozawa had to depart from the party’s original hostile stance toward the LDP to save it from collapsing, due to an increasingly widening schism within the party.

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