Japan’s new ruling party restarts coalition talks

TOKYO (AP) - Japan’s new ruling party, fresh from last week’s landslide electoral victory, resumed stalled talks with two smaller parties Tuesday aimed at creating a coalition government.

The Democratic Party of Japan approached the People’s New Party and the Social Democratic Party in hopes of building a government and talks were continuing Thursday, a ruling party official told The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, citing party policy.

While the Democratic Party of Japan won an overwhelming majority in the powerful lower house of parliament in the Aug. 30 election, it needs the cooperation of the two smaller parties because it still lacks a simple majority in the upper house.

An official of the People’s New Party said the three parties aimed to reach an agreement "as early as possible." He declined to be named because he was not authorized to comment.

The leader of the victorious party, Yukio Hatoyama, who is expected to be selected as Japan’s next prime minister in a party vote on Sept. 16, said he was optimistic about progress in the three-party talks.

"We will reach an agreement. I am always optimistic," Hatoyama told TV reporters early Tuesday.

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