Tag Archives: Liberal Democratic Party

Changes Happening in Japan with LDP Victory

Japanese voters handed a landslide victory to the governing Liberal Democratic Party in parliamentary elections on Sunday, opening the possibility of dramatic changes in the long-paralyzed country, even as it returned Japan to effective one-party rule that seemed to thwart recent hopes for a more competitive democracy.

By securing control of both houses of Parliament for up to three years, the win offers Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, an outspoken nationalist who promises to revitalize Japan’s stagnant economy and strengthen its military, the chance to be the most transformative leader in a decade. It also offered an opportunity to end the nation’s series of short-lived and ineffective prime ministers.

Read the rest of the story: Election Win by Ruling Party Signals Change in Japan.

Japan’s Shinzo Abe Congratulated by Obama on Election Win

President Barack Obama applauded former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe on his conservative opposition’s electoral win Sunday, saying he looked forward to working with the next government.

Voters dumped Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda three years after his Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) promised a change from more than half a century of almost unbroken rule by Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

“I congratulate Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe on his party’s success in the elections in Japan today,” Obama said in a statement.

“The US-Japan Alliance serves as the cornerstone of peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific and I look forward to working closely with the next government and the people of Japan on a range of important bilateral, regional and global issues.”

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nhEl8Q0lOg&feature=player_embedded

Japan polls show Liberal Democratic Party on its way to a sweeping victory

With just days to go before Japan’s lower house election determines the next government, local media polls showed Tuesday that the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party was on its way to a sweeping victory that could hand it and its smaller ally a two-thirds majority, allowing it to enact badly needed legislation that has been roadblocked for years.

Should the LDP and its ally, New Komeito, secure 320 or more lower-house seats, they could override any upper house veto, overcoming the gridlock of a “divided” parliament. Earlier this year, the passage of budget-related legislation was delayed by combined resistance by the opposition parties in the upper house.

The results of a survey by the Mainichi daily newspaper showed that the LDP appeared set to single-handedly win nearly 300 of 480 lower-house seats. Combined with those of New Komeito, the total could surpass 320.

The nationwide poll was conducted by telephone Saturday through Monday. The Mainichi said its projections were based on a survey of around 77,000 voters and additional reporting from its bureaus nationwide.

Polls released last week also projected a solid LDP majority. But the Mainichi survey is the first indicating that the former ruling combination of the LDP and New Komeito could secure a two-thirds majority.

The survey also projected Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s ruling Democratic Party of Japan is in for a crushing defeat, securing less than a third of its current 230 seats. That is a more dismal scenario than in earlier surveys projecting the DPJ losing over half its seats.

Japan’s polictics shifting to the right

Japanese politics are shifting to the right, and the impact on regional security could be crucial.

Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s surprise victory to head Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) last week represents a second chance to lead the conservative party and, by early next year, very possibly all of Japan. His first stint as prime minister ended in 2007 with a whimper after just a year. A second go as Japan’s leader is apt to be accompanied by noisier ambitions.

Before one assumes this has something to do with major reforms within the LDP or Abe’s charisma (many Japanese are impressed by neither), Japan’s political currents are primarily driven by disappointment in the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). Although Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda may be the best of three successive DPJ leaders since taking control of the country in 2009, he could feel the full brunt of electoral frustration at the next election, as early as November but no later than next summer.

Read the rest of the story: Japan’s rightward shift.

Japanese Election Landslide – Aso to Resign – Japan to Change

Victory

Japan’s main opposition party, Democratic Party of Japan, made a historic landslide victory in elections Sunday, upending the ruling conservative party, which has ruled Japan for all but 11 months since 1955.

Japan has had three prime ministers in three years, all of whom were deeply unpopular for their perceived lack of leadership and for failing to get the country out of its deepening economic morass.

“All the bad things over the last 54 years finally caught up to them,” said Fumio Morita, 45, who runs a bar in Tokyo. “It’s good that they are no longer in power.”

Aso’s Resignation

A grim-looking Prime Minister Taro Aso conceded defeat just a couple hours after polls had closed, and has now stated he will resign as the president of the Liberal Democratic Party to take responsibility.

“The results are very severe,” Aso said. “There has been a deep dissatisfaction with our party.”

“I must accept responsibility” for the Liberal Democratic Party’s expected major losses, Aso said during a televised interview with Japanese national broadcaster NHK.

Japan Now

Unemployment and deflation-and an aging, shrinking population-have left families fearful of what the future holds.

“It’s a historic election in that a clear alternation of power has happened for the first time in the postwar period,” said Koichi Nakano, professor of political science at Sophia University in Tokyo. “It’s kind of hard to know whether this is going to lead to a real change in policy, at least for the short term.”

With only two weeks of official campaigning that focused mainly on broad-stroke appeals rather than specific policies, many analysts said the elections were not so much about issues as voters’ general desire for something new after more than a half century under the LDP.

Japan’s Future

“I’m hoping that Japan will forever be changed for the better,” stated an excited voter.

Yukio Hatoyama, leader of the The Democratic Party of Japan, ended 50 years of single-party rule with vows to arrest Japan’s decay and tame its bureaucracy.

Hatoyama’s party, which already controls the upper house with two allies, held just 112 seats in the lower house before parliament was dissolved in July.

The Democratic Party of Japan needed to win a simple majority of 241 seats in the lower house to ensure it could name the next prime minister. The 300-plus level would allow it and its two smaller allies the two-thirds majority they need in the lower house to pass bills.

Official results were to be announced mid-morning Monday, but media exit polls indicated the Democrats would win 300 or more of the 480 seats in the more powerful lower house of Japan’s parliament. That would be enough to give them the power to establish a new Cabinet and name Hatoyama as prime minister by the end of next month.

In foreign relations, the Democrats have said they want Tokyo to be more independent from Washington on diplomatic issues, though they have stressed that the U.S. will remain Japan’s key ally and that they want to keep relations good, while also strengthening ties with their Asian neighbors.

Excerpts taken from stories by AP, Bloomberg, and Dow Jones