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In sharp contrast to the governing Liberal Democratic Party, which is flexing more political muscle as it woos New Komeito to join the ruling coalition, the Democratic Party of Japan seems to be at a loss on how to find a way to shore up its sagging position in national politics.

Despite its gains in an Upper House election last July, the DPJ’s popularity has dropped to around 10 percent in recent media polls, and the No. 1 opposition party now needs to reorganize its strategy for the remaining Diet session and for the next general election, which must be held by October 2000 at the latest.

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