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How come Japan's opposition parties can't mount a credible challenge to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner, the Komeito Party?

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I agree with Vince Black.

I think that the very simple reason why LDP and Koumeitou keep majority in Diet is that population decreased in Japan. LDP and Koumeitou relies on organized votes, which means that, if the the rate of voting is low, they won the election. In the past, when the rate of voting is high, LDP lose the election.

In 90's, LDP already lost the majority in Diet.

After that they tied with Komeitou (Soka gakkai cult group) and the crimes called gang stalking committed by yakuza and North Korea often happened.

The misery of current politics in Japan is that Japan is ruled by small group family business politicians and Soka gakkai. There is no democracy in Japan.

Soka gakkai consists of minorities including North Korea and yakuza.

Soka gakkai says that they are peaceful religious group and at the same time they are member of

current ruling political parties. It is against constitution. (There are many large scale apparent crimes in Japan,

for example, in Japan, gamble is banned, but pachinko (large scale casino owned by North Korea) is admitted by Police. Police regulates the randomness of pachinko. )

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Helix - interesting points, but I disagree with your sentiments.

My point re the medias role (main media) is that they don't take strong enough stands on many issues, but play the 50-50 we're being fair card. The level of hard investigative journalism is stifled in most cases. This is all exacerbated by the "Kisha" system which rewards kowtowing and ostracizes outspoken-ness. Reporters without Borders Press Freedom index currently has Japan at 67 - not glowing for a leading economy & democracy.

And painting Japan as some kind of monolithic entity (homogenous) may well be true to the casual observer as 98% of it's citizens are homegrown, but within this ethnicity there are variables and inconsistencies as wide as in many countries. Just for example, the marginalized poor rural, the homeless, the millions of single parent families, the working poor etc live on scales vastly different to the "doing well" and elite classes. These peoples wishes and interests are not being met by centrist politicians. But they seemingly vote for the same old same old or not at all, simply because of apathy and selfishness. This just keeps the ball in the park with no chance of real social progression, all being fed the same dopa. The people of Japan have almost never had to revolt to get anything, to fight hard - as the politicos in control have manged to keep bellies full and TVs bright and loud.

The inequalities, social conditions, environmental concerns etc in Japan demand the citizens should be involved. They are no different from people of multi-racial countries in the needs and desires of citizens to enjoy better lives.

The single fact that the govt of Japan has remained essentially unchanged for 60+ years means that there must be deep fingers-in-the-pies of ordinary folks lives.

As I have stated before, there are many younger fresher 21stC foreward thinking people who want to be involved in politics but can't get a pinky tip in.

The bloated incestuous system and apathy keeps them out.

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The media makes sure the populace is disinterested in politics

That doesn't make sense. Is it the media's job to manufacture an interest in politics? I think you're putting the cart before the horse.

The apathy in Japan has more to do with the homogeneity of Japanese society. Most people don't care deeply about politics because they have the luxury of not needing to care. Whoever ends up getting elected will (more or less) share the same basic interests as the average Japanese person. Whether it's the LDP or some opposition, the agenda will be very similar on bread and butter issues.

The reason diverse and multicultural countries like the US become obsessed with party politics is because every racial, religious, linguistic and socio-economic group starts organizing to fight for the biggest slice of the pie before it's taken by a rival group. The people in these countries are consumed by politics because they can't afford to ignore it.

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Large parts of the country are dominated by pork barrel politics, so this strengthens the incumbents. The money printer funds it all. Its hard to convince Japanese voters when all you can offer is ideology and not point at the shiny new (loss making) highway/stadium/conference center built during your time in office.

The LDP itself has traditionally been full of factions, but they somehow manage to pull in the same direction. Historically, you could have said the same thing about the Conservative Party in the UK, but that is now ripping itself apart over Europe. The LDP may do the same once a sufficiently divisive issue emerges. The current way is not cast in stone.

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Because the komieto party is the political arm of Japan's largest cult: soka gakkai. And unfortunately this cult has spread its toxic influence overseas hiding behind its "Buddhist" facade.

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Age demographics.

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Agree with craca that lacking a united front is partly to blame.

And agree with dr that the media, aid and abet the disinterest in real politics.

And re the credible challenge - well I know in my parts, there are some excellent younger opposition challengers who present very intelligent, energetic credible challenges - but guess what, the voting public are too politically immature, naive, dis-interested or selfish to take the leap of faith and go for some new blood.

Absolutely nothing wrong with the credibility of these runners, but the old teeth sucking "Jah - better the devil you know" total BS.

So weak.

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The media makes sure the populace is disinterested in politics

by showing food, eating programs round the clock.

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Because they all have different agendas and jockeying for positions at the table.Without a coherent message and changing party names like nappies,cannot instill confidence to put them in power. Maybe if Koizumi jr switched parties and unified them,then something could happen.I'm LDP'ed out,but Abe seems like he's more Teflon than Don and will remain in power as long as he sees fit.

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