December 17, 2012

Don't Hold Your Breath for Change in Japan

Hannah Beech, Time

AP Photo

Sunday's election was the first since the devastating March 11, 2011, tsunami, earthquake and ensuing nuclear crisis. In the weeks and months after the triple disaster, some Japanese predicted that 3/11 would spur the DPJ to battle the vested interests and bureaucratic gridlock that have paralyzed the Japanese political and economic systems. But such hopes soon fizzled. Japan's voters duly punished the ruling party, which suffered its worst showing since its founding in 1998. The DPJ’s lower-house representation dropped from 230 seats to just 57. Even Abe conceded on Sunday that the LDP’s landslide was due less to an affection for his party and more to a protest vote against the DPJ. Less than 60% of Japanese voters bothered to cast ballots, a further sign of their political...

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TAGGED: Japan, Shinzo Abe, LDP, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)

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