For nearly all of Japan's post-WWII history, it has been governed by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Despite what Americans may guess based on it's name, it is not a left wing party. It is more like the statist parties on the French center-right. It has established in a Japan a system of subsidies and protectionist policies designed to favor a handful of huge conglomerates like Mitsubishi, Honda, Sony, Toyota, and the like. Once, in 1993, the LDP briefly lost power to a coalition of center-left parties. But early reports on the recent election in Japan are predicting that the center-left Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) will win a majority of the seats in the lower house, enabling it to set up the first single party government in Japan other than the LDP.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
The DPJ is a merger of the old center-left coalition of parties that had been contesting the LDP for years without much success.
The DPJ has a plurality but not a majority of the seats in the upper house. But this will give a single, center-left party control over the political agenda in Japan for the first time in its history. I don't know how this will effect Japanese policy with regard to regulations and trade. Frankly, I suspect that the DPJ will continue much of the state support for Japanese industry that the LDP has established. This will likely have much bigger impact on the Japanese administrative services. I think we can expect significant house cleaning in the senior reaches of the civil service and judiciary. After all, the LDP has controlled appointments and promotions throughout the executive and judicial branches for more than half a century.
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 1:44 PM