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Now is not the time for Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s Democratic Party of Japan to form a grand collation with opposition parties, the head of New Komeito, the second-biggest opposition force, said Tuesday.

“With ruling and opposition parties working together, earthquake relief and reconstruction measures should come before anything else,” New Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi said. “But we need to discuss a bit more whether forming a grand coalition government will be the best thing to do.”

Yamaguchi’s remarks came as the DPJ explores the possibility of strengthening its ties with the Liberal Democratic Party, the main opposition force, to accelerate reconstruction work following the March 11 disaster.

“We have been cooperating regardless of ruling or opposition parties,” Yamaguchi said when asked about whether New Komeito would consider joining the government. “It is not clear if there is any point in going further from there to form a coalition government.”

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