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Japan’s Leader: Alliance Is Over

April 1, 2000

TOKYO (AP) _ Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi said today that a junior member of the ruling coalition will split from the alliance, a loss that shrinks his parliamentary majority but does not shake his grip on power.

Obuchi said the Liberal Party will leave its partners, the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito.

He spoke after officials from the three parties met to discuss the Liberals’ grievances with coalition policies, an LDP spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity.

``We couldn’t agree on a common future vision for governing, so it became clear it was impossible to continue in the tripartite coalition,″ Obuchi was quoted as saying by the Kyodo News agency.

Obuchi said the LDP would continue its alliance with the New Komeito, a party affiliated with a lay Buddhist organization.

Liberal Party chief Ichiro Ozawa has complained that the Liberal Democratic Party _ Japan’s most powerful _ hesitated to offer campaign support in the run-up to the election in the lower house of Parliament, which must be held by October.

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