Skip to content

PacNet #40 – Japan goes boldly – backward?

September 15, 2005

No one predicted the size of Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro’s election victory last weekend. The landslide win has transformed the landscape of Japanese politics. Oddly, the new picture looks a lot like the old Japan: dominated by a single party – the familiar Liberal Democratic Party (LPD) – without a credible opposition. The election itself was strangely familiar, too: driven by personalities – at least that of the prime minister – rather than any serious discussion of policies. The result is not likely to be great change, however: with Koizumi remaining as prime minister, the ship of state will maintain its present course. Things will get interesting in a year, when the time comes to pick a successor – if the prime minister keeps his oft-repeated promise to step down when his term is up.