November 3, 2007

Fukuda's failed attempt to forge a coalition

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's failed attempt to forge a coalition with the main opposition party has plunged Japanese politics deeper into confusion and may lead to early elections. Fukuda made the surprise proposal when he met Democratic Party leader Ichiro Ozawa on Friday in a bid to win support for legislation allowing Japan to resume a refuelling support mission for US-led operations in Afghanistan. Although Ozawa agreed to consider the proposal to form a "grand coalition" with Fukuda's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the idea was rejected by executives of the Democratic Party, which controls one house of parliament.

The opposition wants to to take the reins of power from the LDP, which has governed the country almost continuously for the past 50 years.

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