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Ichiro Ozawa, secretary general of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, is theoretically subordinate to Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who is also the DPJ president. Ozawa has even stated that all policy matters must be decided by the government, not by the party. Yet, in reality, he has established a political machine that is more powerful than Hatoyama’s.

Ozawa’s primary interest at the moment seems to lie in winning the Upper House election next summer. Currently, his DPJ has an overwhelming majority in the Lower House, but its seats in the Upper House fall short of a majority, forcing the prime minister to form a coalition with the Social Democratic Party and the People’s New Party, which do not necessarily follow the same ideologies as the DPJ.

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