of Japan. of how the government should phrase a resolution commemorating the
When Tomino proposed the study in 1992, he was careful to stress that Zushi's study was no substitute for an investigation by the central government into issues of Japanese war responsibility. For the first six months of 1995, the question of how the government should phrase a resolution commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the war absorbed much public debate and nearly brought down the three-party coalition government headed by Prime Minister Murayama Tomiichi. While Murayama, head of the Social Democratic Party of Japan (SDPJ), serves as prime minister, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is by far the most powerful of the three parties making up the coalition. The Japan Association of Bereaved Families of War Dead (Nihon izokukai), the Association of Shinto Shrines (Jinja honchO), and other right-leaning groups with considerable grass-roots networks pressured the rank and file of the LDP to keep an apology out of the resolution. The Association of Shinto Shrines spearheaded a petition movement against an apology that produced millions of signatures.7 Largely as a result of the intransigence of LDP politicians who felt this pressure, the resolution passed by the Lower House of the Diet on 9 June was a watereddown statement that was widely criticized as failing to clearly defme Japan's responsibility for its aggression during the war.