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Opposition parties lambasted Obuchi’s policy address Tuesday for lacking specific measures for solving the nation’s problems.

Naoto Kan, head of the Democratic Party of Japan, the largest opposition party, said the prime minister described the various maladies but did not give an explanation of what brought them about. “Obuchi failed to point out the causes of the problems,” Kan said to reporters after the day’s plenary session.

Describing Obuchi as “a vacuum cleaner” that can suck up anything, Kan criticized the newly formed LDP-Liberal Party coalition government, saying it is only focusing on problems that need to be addressed immediately and that no discussions have been held on how it wants to steer the country into the next century.

Kan said his party will demand during this session the enactment of a government information disclosure bill that has been put on hold since March 1998.

In the meantime, New Komeito chief Takenori Kanzaki said Obuchi failed to fully explain why the LDP formed the coalition government with the Liberal Party.

Kanzaki said it seems that Obuchi does not sufficiently recognize the serious state the domestic economy is in. “Without the proper assessment of the country’s economic conditions, it would be difficult to write out an appropriate prescription,” Kanzaki said.

He said his party will strengthen cooperation among opposition parties and call on Obuchi to clarify what will change and what will not under the coalition government.

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