Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

1993 Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa lost a crucial no-confidence vote in Parliament that set the stage for elections and could signal the end of 38 years of single-party rule. After a humiliating defeat in what should have been a ruling party-controlled Lower House, Miyazawa dissolved Parliament to trigger snap elections in late July. “What happened was very unfortunate,” a dejected-looking Miyazawa said. The premier was laid low by public disgust over his failure to push through legislation to halt rampant political corruption in the wake of three big payoff scandals in just five years, all involving senior ruling party lawmakers. Pro-reform lawmakers in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) crossed over to join the opposition and hand Miyazawa a crushing defeat amid cheers of “Banzai” in the chamber. Socialist Party chief Sadao Yamahana, thundering out the no-confidence motion in the Lower House, charged Miyazawa with betraying the trust of the people.

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1975 First North Sea oil pumps ashore in Britain.

1979 US and Soviet Union sign the SALT II strategic arms limitation treaty in Vienna.

1983 Li Xiannian is elected China’s first president since the 1960s.

1985 US space shuttle Discovery, with Saudi Prince Sultan Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, launches a satellite for the Arab world.

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1990 Civil war is officially declared in north-east Sri Lanka.

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2003 American forces capture Lt Gen Abed Hamoud Al Tikriti, a leader in Saddam Hussain’s regime.

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