Naoto Kan, leader of the Democratic Party of Japan, denied Tuesday that his party plans to form a governing coalition with the Japanese Communist Party.

Kan added, however, that the largest opposition party would not rule out a non-Cabinet alliance or some other form of cooperation with the JCP.

“There will emerge room for considering (a coalition with the JCP) if the party changes its name and platform, possibly transforming itself into a party like the Social Democratic Party. . . . But since (the JCP) has not changed yet, we have no plans to form a governing coalition (with the party) at this point,” Kan told a news conference in Kobe.

Tuesday was the first day of campaigning for the Nov. 9 House of Representatives election.

Kan said he “would not rule out” other forms of cooperation, such as the JCP supporting a DPJ-led government from outside the Cabinet.

The DPJ chief has thus far avoided clear-cut statements on the specter of the DPJ forming a coalition with the JCP in a bid to oust the current ruling coalition led by the Liberal Democratic Party, saying that he will “not rule out any option.”

His latest remarks were apparently made in response to claims by ruling coalition leaders that an election victory for the DPJ would result in the creation of a government featuring the JCP.

Earlier in the day, Takenori Kanzaki, chief of New Komeito, accused Kan of failing to clarify “with what parties the DPJ plans to form an alliance to gain government control.”

Meanwhile, JCP chief Kazuo Shii, also stumping for his party on the campaign trail, criticized both the LDP and the DPJ, saying the two parties are alike in a broad sense in that they cater to big business interests and follow the United States in terms of foreign policy.

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