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Noda, Abe at odds over whether to join hands after election

By Tomoyuki Tachikawa and Junko Horiuchi

TOKYO, Nov. 30 — Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his rival Shinzo Abe were at odds Friday over possible cooperation after next month's general election, a closely watched topic as lawmakers and pundits say no party is likely to win a majority.

Noda, president of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, indicated during a debate his willingness to cooperate with Abe's main opposition Liberal Democratic Party in securing passage of key bills.

"When we think about the country, we shouldn't get in each other's way," Noda said in a debate with Abe and the leaders of nine other parties, held four days before the start of official campaigning for the Dec. 16 House of Representatives election. (PNA/Kyodo)

CTB/RSM

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