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Kubo says DPJ still no alternative for current coalition.

TOKYO, June 26 Kyodo

Wataru Kubo, a House of Councillors member of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), said in an interview with Kyodo News that the party is still no alternative for the current coalition government.

Kubo likened the DPJ to a waiting room at a county station where people with various opinions gather. But he said, ''(The DPJ) cannot fully become an alternative party (with voters).''

Kubo, 74, predicted the DPJ may split in the future.

''Young Diet members plan for a future regime freely. If the situation becomes complex, it may be difficult (for the DPJ) to stay as one party,'' he said.

Looking back on 1993's political realignment after the collapse of former Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa's administration, Kubo said he pressured the government to respect the philosophy and spirit of the Japanese Constitution.

After Miyazawa, three politicians -- Morihiro Hosokawa, Tsutomu Hata and Tomiichi Murayama, all from political parties other than the long-reigning Liberal Democratic Party -- served as premiers from 1993 through 1996.

Kubo said the administration of former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto continued to respect the spirit of the Constitution, as did by the previous three administrations, and that this was an achievement of which he, Kubo, was proud.

Born in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, Kubo was first elected as an upper house member in 1974. He belonged to the Japan Socialist Party (now called the Social Democratic Party) for a long time and served as secretary general in 1993.

Kubo served as finance minister and deputy prime minister under the Hashimoto administration.

He later joined the Democratic Party of Japan and is serving his fourth six-year term. He has said he will not run for the upcoming upper house election scheduled for July 29 and is expected to retire from politics.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Jul 2, 2001
Words:297
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