The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) suffered a stunning defeat in the July 2007 upper house elections, creating an unprecedented situation in which the LDP-led coalition lost its majority in the upper house while retaining a two-thirds majority in the lower house. In this new environment of ““divided government”” Japanese style, the LDP and the opposition jockeyed for advantage in foreign and domestic policy debates while preparing for a critical confrontation in the next lower house election.

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