Marking the fifth anniversary of his party’s alliance with the Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito chief Takenori Kanzaki said Monday that the party will continue to support the reform initiatives of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

Claiming the LDP-New Komeito alliance has become a “mature” relationship, Kanzaki said the parties must overcome differences over issues such as constitutional reform and revision of the Fundamental Law of Education.

“I reckon people in general, as well as our supporters, must have been bewildered” when New Komeito joined the coalition five years ago, he said.

“But I believe (people’s) understanding (of the alliance) has broadened, since national elections were held twice in each of the two Diet chambers over the past five years.”

Kanzaki said his party will act as the driving force for the Koizumi reform agenda, which included the privatization of government-run corporations and the decentralization of administrative power.

Kanzaki urged the LDP to address the controversy over political donations immediately, possibly by revising the Political Funds Control Law, in light of the recently revealed huge but dubious contribution by the Japan Dental Association to members of the LDP’s largest faction.

Regarding the chances of New Komeito forming a coalition with the Democratic Party of Japan, Kanzaki did not rule this out in the “distant future.” DPJ chief Katsuya Okada, however, has repeatedly nixed this option.

We’re “not considering forming a coalition with the DPJ in the near future” as long as the alliance retains a Diet majority and the LDP remains a trustworthy partner, he said. “But I cannot say it won’t happen in the distant future either.”

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