Japan: How to Lose By Winning

How to Lose By Winning

Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu came out punching when the campaign for this month's legislative elections began in the lower house of the Diet last week. Kaifu deftly defended his ruling Liberal Democratic Party against corruption charges and attacks on the ten-month-old consumption tax. Conceded Socialist leader Takako Doi: "He's done his homework."

The L.D.P., which has ruled Japan for 35 years, lost its majority in the upper house last July. It has a fighting chance of winning enough seats in the lower house to form a Cabinet.

But even if he wins the election, Kaifu, 59, may lose his office. Many...

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