In the July 1993 elections, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lost its majority in the House of Representatives for the first time since its founding in 1955. Japan found itself with a new government composed of a previously unimaginable seven-party coalition—parties ranging from the ultraconservative Shinsei-to (Renaissance) and the quasi-religious Komei-to to the once dogmatic Socialists. This constellation was possible solely because of the desire to establish a non-LDP government. Morihiro Hosokawa, an obscure leader of the Japan New Party, was chosen as prime minister.
Hosokawa, a neophyte in national politics who championed change, emphasized the need to rid the Japanese political system of the influence of the scandal-ri...
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