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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hata Faces Crucial Vote

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata, facing an imminent no-confidence vote in parliament, failed Thursday to win opposition socialist support for his minority coalition. Hata and the Socialist Party leader, Tomiichi Murayama, talked for just under half an hour in late evening, one coalition official said, but "no final agreement was reached." Earlier in the day, the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party ended a nine-week parliamentary truce by submitting the no-confidence motion, saying Hata's cabinet "is weak ... and lacks stability and the ability to get things done." A key parliamentary panel was meeting to schedule a vote on the motion. Socialist support for Hata would ensure it failed, but if he cannot convince Murayama to rejoin the coalition, the Liberal Democrats could well succeed in toppling him.