JAPAN, FRANCE: Voting for Stability

JAPAN

The ruling Liberal Democrats slide back to victory

After 25 years in power, Japan's right-of-center Liberal Democratic Party appeared ready for the taking. Its leader, Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira, 70, had died of a heart attack only ten days before the elections. The party, moreover, had been declining in popularity. There had been widespread disenchantment with its ceaseless factional disputes and with the kind of corruption that led to the 1976 indictment of former Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka in the Lockheed bribery scandal. Opposition leaders talked confidently of winning enough seats to...

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