Japan A Mountain Moves

Angry voters warn the ruling party to clean up its act or lose power

Whether it was just a minor rumble or a major tremor on the political Richter scale, last week's vote for the upper house of Japan's parliament was certainly a shock to the Liberal Democratic Party, which has ruled the country for 34 years. In the most devastating setback in its history, the L.D.P. claimed only 36 of the 126 seats up for grabs, while the underdog Japan Socialist Party took 46. Declared exultant J.S.P. leader Takako Doi: "I truly felt the mountains moving."

The vote gave the combined forces of Japan's opposition parties control of one of the houses in the...

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