Japan Chair Platform: Will Japanese Politics Change at Last?
February 20, 2008
We may witness a historic turning point in Japanese politics this year. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which has enjoyed majority rule since 1955 with the exception of one brief interlude in 1993 to 1994, may be removed from power. In the mid-1990s, a group of politicians began to argue that the LDP’s monopoly had produced rigidity in policymaking that prevented Japan from adapting to new challenges such as globalization. In response, these critics promoted electoral reform aimed at a two-party system that would revitalize the policy debate. Their efforts have produced mixed results, but today, with the LDP weakened by its defeat in the Upper House election last July, and the public voicing its frustration over recent scandals and a weak economy, opposition leaders may at long last succeed in unseating the LDP.