Japanese prime minister to rule with minority government
November 7, 1996
Web posted at: 12:15 p.m. EST (1715 GMT)
From Correspondent May Lee
TOKYO (CNN) -- Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto
easily won a second term in office Thursday, but his biggest
challenge is just beginning: ruling the nation with a
Hashimoto received 262 votes in the 500-member lower house of
Parliament, largely due to a loose alliance his
conservative Liberal Democratic Party formed with its old
allies, the Social Democrats and the tiny Sakigake party.
In lower house elections last month, the LDP failed to secure
a majority. But no party, not even its former coalition
partners the Social Democrats and Sakigake, will agree to
formally join a new coalition.
"The main reason why (LDP is) having difficulties finding
partners is because everybody knows the decisions that will
be made over 12 to 24 months will be very, very difficult
decisions," political analysts Keith Henry said.
Henry specifically said deregulation, administrative reform
and economic recovery are key issues facing the government.
Without new alliances, the LDP will rule as a minority
government, leaving room for other parties to have an
influential voice and the potential to cast crucial swing
As a result, political battles over controversial issues,
such as national security, could erupt.
Henry said, "These are still wedge issues: what to do
about American bases in Okinawa? What to do about a flare-up
in North Korea, Where does Japan stand with Hong Kong, Taiwan
That leaves one viable option for Hashimoto and his minority
government -- maintain the status quo until they can regain a
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