Was the coalition doomed from the start?

On Friday, Fukushima Mizuho, the head of the Social Democratic Party of Japan, refused to bow to the prime minister's decision to accept a modified version of the 2006 realignment agreement, forcing the prime minister to dismiss her from her position as minister responsible for consumer affairs.Not surprisingly, on Sunday the SDPJ decided that it …

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Ozawa whips the DPJ and the Diet into shape

Speaking at a convention of the Osaka branch of the DPJ, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano Hirofumi spoke succinctly of the role of the DPJ's backbenchers in the new government. Hirano said that not only is it unnecessary for DPJ backbenchers to ask questions in Diet proceedings, but also the DPJ's many first-term Diet members should …

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Assembling the new coalition government

The DPJ has been in intense negotiations with the Social Democratic Party of Japan (SDPJ) and the People's New Party (PNP) to finalize the terms of their coalition government.The DPJ's goal in negotiations is naturally to minimize the disruptiveness from having two parties (and their internal politics) interfere with the DPJ's plans for a streamlined …

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The DPJ can win a majority — but what will it mean?

Having tabulated the predictions made over the course of my election handbook, I think it's appropriate that I return and answer my initial question.Can the DPJ win an absolute majority?Based on my district-by-district predictions, I think the DPJ could win 279 seats, the LDP 159 seats, Komeito fifteen seats, the JCP and PNP seven seats …

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