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Koizumi's Party Loses Ground in Elections

April 29, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Opposition-backed candidates defeated rivals from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's ruling party in two of three major elections, reflecting the Japanese leader's plummeting popularity and weakening grip on power.

The races will not alter the balance of power in parliament, because the ruling coalition led by Koizumi's Liberal Democratic Party retains its majority in both houses.

But the gains by the Democratic Party of Japan were another blow to Koizumi, who has been trying to shore up dwindling public support.

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