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The leaders of the three ruling coalition parties met Friday and confirmed their solidarity in the hope that it will lead them to victory in the June 25 general election.

“We have already decided to continue working together after the election. On that basis, we today further discussed what we can do for the election,” said New Conservative Party President Chikage Ogi after the meeting, which was held at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence and lasted just over 30 minutes.

Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, who is president of the Liberal Democratic Party, and New Komeito leader Takenori Kanzaki welcomed Ogi’s proposal that the three leaders stump together during the upcoming campaign.

The three leaders also agreed to cooperate to avoid rivalries among their parties’ candidates, which are likely to occur in some constituencies, they said.

They also patted themselves on the back for the 0.5 percent growth in Japan’s GDP for fiscal 1999, even though it fell slightly short of the government’s target of 0.6 percent. The coalition leaders, however, expressed concern that public works spending has dipped 7.5 percent from the previous quarter, according to Economic Planning Agency figures.

“We shared the view that we cannot leave the situation like this,” Ogi said, adding, however, that the three did not discuss concrete measures to increase public works spending.

During the meeting, Mori also reported to Kanzaki and Ogi the outcome of his talks with dozens of foreign leaders and representatives, who gathered in Tokyo earlier in the week to attend the funeral of the late Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, they said.