Coalition governments have emerged numerous times in Japanese politics to either secure a better hold on the Diet or topple an administration:
Dec. 1983 — The Liberal Democratic Party, led by Yasuhiro Nakasone, forms a governing coalition with the New Liberal Club to make up for its lack of a Diet majority. It lasts until the LDP’s election victory in July 1986, after which the NLC disbands and most of its members return to the LDP.
Aug. 1993 — An anti-LDP alliance led by Morihiro Hosokawa topples the LDP from power for the first time in 38 years. Hosokawa steps down after nine months over a money scandal.
May 1994 — Tsutomu Hata forms a minority coalition government after the Social Democratic Party and New Party Sakigake pull out from the LDP alliance. Hata resigns in about two months under threat of a no-confidence vote.
Jun. 1994 — Tomiichi Murayama is elected prime minister by a surprise coalition of the LDP, longtime archrival SDP, and Sakigake.
Jan. 1996 — Ryutaro Hashimoto takes over as prime minister under the LDP-SDP-Sakigake coalition. SDP and Sakigake leave the Cabinet after the Oct. 1996 Lower House elections but keep a non-Cabinet alliance until June 1998.
Jan. 1999 — Keizo Obuchi forms a coalition between the LDP and Ichiro Ozawa’s Liberal Party.