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The ruling bloc and the Democratic Party of Japan agreed Friday to meet informally to discuss how the Diet will address pension reform and other social security programs.

The DPJ said it hoped for a “definite plan” on a framework for pension reform to be created by fall. But the ruling bloc said it merely wants to decide on the “course” of pension reforms by then.

We “made a major step forward by confirming that the ruling parties share in our recognition that the current pension system is in critical condition,” DPJ Secretary General Tatsuo Kawabata told reporters.

Kawabata met with his counterparts, Tsutomu Takebe of the Liberal Democratic Party and Tetsuzo Fuyushiba of New Komeito, as well the Diet affairs chiefs from the three parties.

The ruling bloc replied in writing during the meeting to an earlier request by the DPJ that the LDP and New Komeito drastically reform the pension system.

The ruling coalition said it will concentrate on achieving social security reforms and meeting the people’s expectations on pension reforms as soon as possible.

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