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A good case for comparison with the LDP split in 1993 is the discord within the SDPJ from 1994 to 1995.
The SDPJ and Harbinger especially opposed the idea, not only because they were cautious about the tax increase but also because Hosokawa had failed to consult the leaders of the two parties about his proposal.
When the SDPJ and Harbinger walked out, the remaining parties had to form a minority government, in May 1994, headed by Tsutomu Hata.
The arrangement of the Murayama cabinet was destined to intensify conflict within the SDPJ. Soon after cabinet formation in July 1994, it became apparent that the Socialists had divided into two camps.
At the SDPJ annual meeting held on September 3, 1994, the party formally decided on major shifts in policy orientation: the constitutionality of keeping a self-defense force and the official status of a national song and a national flag, both of which dated back to imperial Japan.
After the September meeting, the NDL faction began to argue for disbanding the SDPJ in January 1995 and creating a new party.
Thirty-seven SDPJ members in the House of Representatives publicly supported this symposium and were regarded as NDL core members.
Deep skepticism about the NDL's resoluteness encouraged the group members to compromise with others in the SDPJ and agree to shelve the proposal.
On January 17, 1995, seventeen NDL members of the House of Representatives and seven from the House of Councilors, headed by Sadao Yamabana, gave notice to the SDPJ that they would form a new legislative group in the Diet and subsequently secede from the party.
At the beginning of March, the defectors resumed plans, and Yamabana decided the group would secede in April, but there was an unexpected shock when the labor unions began to withdraw their support.(30) In May 1995, Yamabana, four colleagues of the House of Representatives, and two from the House of Councilors tried to secede from the SDPJ, but party executives accepted only their succession from a legislative group of the party in the Diet.
Before presenting the quantitative analysis, I will briefly interpret the NDL members' attempt to recreate the SDPJ. The group members wanted a new liberal party (i.e., a public good) that would include SDPJ members as well as members of other parties.
(69.) In fact, SDPJ became the first political party to have a woman leader, Doi Takako, in 1986.
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