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Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada has sounded out the Liberal Democratic Party about forming a grand coalition with his ruling Democratic Party of Japan, possibly hinting at an early general election, political sources said Saturday.

But the two sides remain far apart. Okada is demanding that the LDP cooperate to enact bills over a sales tax rise and the issuance of deficit-covering bonds before any snap election, but the largest opposition party wants an election to precede the passage of this legislation, they said.

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