When Democratic Party of Japan President Yukio Hatoyama let slip on FM radio on June 15 that a coalition with the Social Democratic Party and Kokumin Shinto (People’s New Party) was paramount — but only until the DPJ wins next year’s Upper House election and acquires a single-party majority — both smaller forces were quick to strike.

“Who on Earth gets married when they know they’ll be divorced in a year,” ex-Kokumin Shinto deputy chief Shizuka Kamei asked DPJ executives at a meeting the next day.

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