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Could the LDP turn to Nippon Ishin amid friction with coalition partner Komeito?

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and junior coalition partner Komeito have recently found their long-term political marriage under unprecedented strain, raising questions about whether that partnership, which began in 1999, is about to end.

Last month, a battle erupted between the two over whose candidate would run in the newly created Tokyo 28th district. In the end, Komeito backed down, but it also said it would not seek cooperation with the LDP in any Tokyo district in the next national and local elections.

That led to frantic meetings between top LDP and Komeito officials, who rushed to give assurances that the problems in Tokyo would not affect other districts or break up the ruling coalition.