The Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, the Liberal Party, must discuss common policies with New Komeito before the latter holds its convention in late July, when it is expected to decide whether to join the ruling bloc, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka said Wednesday.

New Komeito plans to hold its convention on July 24 to formally determine its platform and seek rank and file approval to join the LDP-Liberal Party coalition government.

“It is necessary to conduct informal exchanges of views to make policy agreements by the LDP, the Liberal Party and New Komeito to pave the way for the establishment of a coalition government,” Nonaka told a regular news conference.

His remarks reflect calls within the LDP for the three parties to conduct policy discussions. Some key LDP lawmakers believe establishing common ground would make it easier for New Komeito to join the LDP led alliance.

Nonaka also said that if the new coalition government is established, the LDP hopes New Komeito will join the Cabinet to strengthen the bonds of the three parties. “It is a desirable form of a coalition government to jointly compile necessary policies and the budget while sharing common policies and responsibilities for the government,” Nonaka said.

Despite ardent requests from Nonaka and other key LDP figures, including Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, New Komeito has not yet decided whether to seek a Cabinet seat.

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