The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner Komeito agreed Monday to cooperate again in all constituencies in Tokyo for the next House of Representatives election, dispelling concerns that their decades-long alliance might end.
The LDP, led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and Komeito had faced difficulties in coordinating candidates for the capital as the electoral map will be redrawn under legislation enacted last year to narrow the vote disparity between densely and sparsely populated constituencies in the lower house of parliament.
The two ruling parties, however, managed to find common ground amid lingering speculation that Kishida will dissolve the lower house for a snap election by the end of this year.
Kishida and Komeito chief Natsuo Yamaguchi signed an agreement that the LDP will support Komeito's candidate for the Tokyo No. 29 district. In the remaining districts in the capital, Komeito will back candidates of the LDP.
In May, Komeito, frustrated with the LDP's insistence on endorsing its own candidate in the newly established Tokyo No. 28 district, conveyed to its partner a decision not to recommend LDP candidates in constituencies in Tokyo.
The junior partner desired to secure the parliamentary seats in both the No. 28 and 29 districts but gave up on fielding a candidate in the new district.
Yamaguchi told reporters after talking with Kishida on Monday, "Breaking trust can happen in an instant, but building it requires desperate and relentless endeavors."
As a result of the electoral district revision, 10 single-seat electoral constituencies will be added across five prefectures, including some in Tokyo, in the lower house, while 10 prefectures will lose one seat each.
The LDP and Komeito, which initially formed a coalition government from 1999 to 2009 and later regained power together in 2012, have joined hands on candidate selection. Komeito is supported by Soka Gakkai, Japan's largest lay Buddhist group.
The LDP has relied on votes from Soka Gakkai members. In exchange for electoral cooperation, Komeito has lobbied its partner to promote policies such as cash handouts and other social welfare-related programs.