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A draft of the Liberal Democratic Party’s policy platform for 1998 carries a call to arms to win a majority in the Upper House in the July election.The LDP currently holds 120 seats in the 252-seat chamber. It lost its majority in the chamber in July 1989, following the introduction of the consumption tax.The platform says victory in the election is indispensable in achieving the party’s policy steps, which include hastily announced measures to stabilize the nation’s financial system. The policy plans, drafted Wednesday and expected to be approved during a party convention Jan. 16, say that the LDP will concentrate on the promotion of “six big reforms” on which Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto has placed priority.Reform of the administrative system, fiscal structure, financial markets, economic structure, social security system and education will be necessary to prepare the nation for 2000 and beyond, the platform says.To win the election, the party will work for wider public support, including from labor unions, many of which have long supported the LDP’s foes. Although representatives from 10 union organizations attended the party’s convention last year, the first such guests in the LDP’s long history, the coming convention is not expected to have any support from labor.This expected quick turnaround is blamed on recent changes in the political scene, including the formation of a joint parliamentary force including the Democratic Party of Japan, the largest opposition force, and five smaller parties in the wake of the disbandment of Shinshinto.

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