About 70 Diet members from the Democratic Party of Japan, Shinshinto and the Taiyo Party are expected to participate in a new study group to be formed later this month, informed sources said Aug. 11.

The group, named the Reform Conference, is intended to bolster opposition forces.

The sources said the new group will hold its inaugural meeting Aug. 25.

Forty Diet members from the DPJ, 20 from Shinshinto and 10 from the Taiyo Party are expected to participate in the first meeting of the Reform Conference, the sources said.

On Aug. 11, organizers of the new group — Yukio Hatoyama, coleader of the DPJ; Michihiko Kato, a Shinshinto official; and Megumi Sato, a Taiyo Party official — met to discuss ideas and policy matters for the new group, they said.

Former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa told Hatoyama on Aug. 10 that he would not participate in the new group.

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