Photo/IllutrationDiet affairs committee chairmen of the opposition parties attend a meeting in the Diet on Jan. 16. (Takeshi Iwashita)

The Democratic Party for the People (DPP) is playing hard to get in giving its final word on a merger with the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP) to fight the ruling coalition together.

Both parties will not merge before the ordinary Diet session is convened on Jan. 20.

DPP Secretary-General Hirofumi Hirano on Jan. 16 snubbed a request from his CDP counterpart to issue his party's decision at Jan. 20 general meeting.

After meeting with Tetsuro Fukuyama for about an hour near the Diet, Hirano told reporters the DPP's general meeting was not the appropriate place to make the party's decision. So, he said, “We are not sure whether or not we can tell him the conclusion.”

CDP leader Yukio Edano asked the DPP to merge before the Diet session, but DPP members have not reached a consensus on the merger.

Negotiations between the party secretaries-general will now focus on whether merger talks will continue during the Diet session and if all DPP members can join the merger.

The two agreed to meet again on Jan. 21.

One CDP lawmaker insisted the party should scrap the negotiations with the DPP.

“We don’t have extra time to talk about the merger while we're battling the Abe administration in the Diet,” the lawmaker argued.