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Opposition Ousts Ruling Party in Japanese Parliamentary Elections
December 18, 2012
By: Rebecca Aaberg | Printer Friendly

On December 16, the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) won Japanese parliamentary elections in a landslide. The ousted left-leaning Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) lost more than two-thirds of seats in the House of Representatives, the lower house of parliament. Voice of America reported that the LDP returns to power after only a brief break; it governed the country “virtually uninterrupted from 1955 to 2009.” Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda offered his resignation from his position as the head of the DPJ, calling the party’s loss his personal responsibility.

The LDP won 294 of the 480 seats available in the House of Representatives, while the DPJ lost control after dropping from 230 to 57 seats. The LDP has entered a coalition with the New Komeito party, giving them a “320-seat veto-proof ‘supermajority,’ meaning its lawmakers can pass bills even without the support of the DPJ-led upper house,” the Washington Post reported. Even so, surveys have shown that only 20 percent of the population supports the LDP among a wide field of political parties. In addition to the two main parties, several new parties participated in the elections, including the party of former Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, the Japan Restoration Party.

LDP member Shinzo Abe is likely to become Japan’s next prime minister. He claimed that mismanagement under the DPJ turned away supporters and led to the LDP victory: "Our victory this time does not mean trust in the Liberal Democratic Party has been completely restored. Rather, it was a decision by the public that they should put an end to the political stagnation and confusion over the past three years, caused by the Democratic Party's misguided political leadership." Able plans to increase military spending, to print money to raise inflation, and to implement public works projects.  Since losing control of parliament in 2009, the LDP has moved from the center to the right, led by Abe. Abe had previously served as prime minister for 366 days from 2006 to 2007.

For more news on Japan, please see:
Japanese Governor Forms New Party

Voice of America - Japan's Governing Party Resoundingly Ousted in Shift to Right

Washington Post - Opposition Party Wins Japanese Parliamentary Vote



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