Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Massive Political Earthquake in Japan

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.

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.


derek demos said...

Wow, I can't believe it, is it possible???

Robert said...

One of the highlights for me, with this takeover, was the strong action DPJ campaigned on taking with the climate. I think this is incredibly important as the world heads to Copenhagen in December. If only we could get the US to start doing more.

TechSlice said...

It seems it's a good year for democrats world wide.

The Law Talking Guy said...

This is the question du jour: we know there has been a major change in personnel, but what does it mean for policy? Who are the winners and who are the losers? I wish I knew more about it.

Raised By Republicans said...

Here's the thing, the LDP has a long established policy of state protection and subsidies of big business. I doubt the DPJ will reverse that. Since that is the ceterpiece of all of Japan's political economic policy, I doubt we'll see much change in terms of that kind of policy.

Rob suggests that there will be big changes in environmental regulations and I believe that.

One thing to keep in mind, both the LDP and the DPJ are beset with factions. In the DPJ's case, these factions used to be independent parties about a decade ago. If those factions have ideological differences between them, it will make it that much more difficult for the DPJ to make any dramatic policy changes.

I really think the biggest impact will be on civil service and judicial appointments and promotions.

Joy Reed said...

I hope this makes things better for Japan.

The Law Talking Guy said...

"I really think the biggest impact will be on civil service and judicial appointments and promotions."

I don't see how "to the victor belongs the spoils" is going to be good for Japan, at least not without knowing more.

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