The results of the 2000 general election can be interpreted in two contradictory ways. On the one hand, the coalition won a comfortable majority with 271 seats to the combined opposition total of 188. On the other hand, the coalition lost 64 seats while the opposition parties gained 35. Though either side could thus claim victory, it was clear from the expressions on the faces of the party leaders that the coalition had lost the election and the opposition had won. This result means, first, that the LDP's strategy of allying itself with Koumei, a religious party based on a particular Buddhist sect, has been called into question by both coalition partners and, second, that the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has been confirmed as the primary alternative to the LDP
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DOI 10.1017/s1468109900002097
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