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A New Era and Set of Leaders in Japan

Written by: on 31st August 2009 |
A New Era and Set of Leaders in Japan  | read this item

The Japanese voters overpowered the elections and rejected the party has ruled their country for almost past half century, now choosing an untested rival to struggle with an enfeebled economy and an aging society.

The political historic change in their government could lead them in a new era for Japanese politics that replaces their old ways that is guided by Japan postwar boom years with a more competitive and testy government.

The rising Democratic Party of Japan and the established Liberal Democratic Party share similar position when it comes to numbers of country issues. But the more liberated DPS is soaring an ambitious and expensive domestic spending agenda with the aim of reigniting the Japan’s economy.

japan new era

It would cause a trouble for US and other countries to find Tokyo as their partners due to the shift in leadership and priorities for the first time in many years. But Japan’s new leader pledge to take a bigger responsibility and vital role on issue such as United Nations peacekeeping mission and climate change and to prove that they are more willing to be a good partners in world activities.

The DPJ’s victory was landsliding. It claimed 308 seats, a vast majority of the 480 seats in the parliament’s lower house, compared with 115 seats previously. It already holds the upper house.

Now the longtime ruling Liberal Democratic Party was already reduced to 119 seats from 300 seats and their coalition partners also fell  from 31 to 21 seats including party president Akihiro Ota losing his seat.

The LDP has ruled the nation since 1955 but 11 months, in early 1990’s, when it was throwed from power of opposition figures. The LDP led Japan into prolonged decline following the collapse in 1990 of its property and stock markets and still the opposition failed to replace strong leaders to capture the public confidence.

Now the younger DPJ workers were very active and DPJ supporters are the main factor that sets the part apart from the LDP and get majority of the older voters.

Prime Minister Taro Aso announced Monday he was stepping down as LDP Leader. “We must accept the voter’s choices sincerely and make a fresh start”, said Mr. Aso.

Now it’s a big question whether the newcomers can solve Japan’s structural problems and reassure the people’s uncertain of their futures.

Fujio Mitarai, chairman and CEO of Canon Inc., called on the DPJ to work with the LDP in such areas such as overhauling the tax and social-security systems and empowering regional governments. “For now, the highest priority in conducting policy is to make sure the nation exits completely from the economic crisis,” said Mr. Mitarai, head of the Japan Business Federation, or Nippon Keidanren, a business lobby.

The DPJ now are being watched closely as it selects their cabinet members. They may find some difficulties to agree on key issues. Mr Hatoyama said that he would give key positions such as finance and foreign minister to senior lawmakers. Analysts say their candidates Katsuya Okada and Hiroshisa Fujii.

By mid of September, the new parliament will vote their prime minister and would then travel to US to attend the UN General Assembly meeting by September 22 and a Group of 20 leader summit in Pittsburgh, September 24 and 25.

photo: wsj

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