Shinto Heiwa (New Peace Party) and the Liberal Democratic Party agreed March 20 to open discussions next week on realizing Shinto Heiwa’s demand for budgetary measures for social welfare issues.

Negotiations between the two parties’ secretary generals and Diet affairs committee chairmen have raised speculation that Shinto Heiwa and the LDP are seeking closer cooperation. This, however, has repeatedly been denied by the opposition party. “We are holding talks with the LDP, hoping to realize our demands for the appropriation of more money for helping the disadvantaged,” said Tetsuzo Fuyushiba, Shinto Heiwa’s secretary general. “It is not that we are forming an alliance with the LDP.”

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