politics

Japan's ruling coalition keeps majority with fewer seats

42 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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Chief takeaways:

LDP and CDP lost seats compared with last lower house election in 2017.

The Japan Innovation Party won nearly 40 seats, nearly quadruple the number it held prior to the election.

Former PM Suga comfortably won his seat in Kanagawa against the CDP’s Eiko Okamoto.

Akira Amari, Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party, lost his seat in Kanagawa to Hideshi Futori of the opposition CDP. Amari is still expected to secure a parliamentary seat through the proportional representation section.

Harumi Yoshida, opposition candidate from the CDP, defeated Nobuteru Ishihara, the eldest son of former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara and former Secretary General of the LDP and Abe cabinet member.

Voter turnout: about 56%.
14 ( +18 / -4 )

You reap what you sow Japan. Forget about Akagi files, or Moritomo, Sakura, Kake, Abenomask and all of the corruption and income disparity that you were crying about. All of the LDP sweet talk before the election is going out the window. They've already told you that they're going to relax the safety regulations and will begin firing up the nukes. Good luck, you've got quite a debt to pay.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

Voter turnout was mere 55% despite suffering or pain or sadness or poverty or victim by innumerable misstep of incompetent two government against Covid19 issue.

Japanese general public don't know fact that can improve life and future by regime changing or they already seem to give up the future.

Japanese mainstream media are scared at criticizing government, they avoid even validating government and ruling party politics of past nine years under the name of political neutrality, and they mere introduced election manifesto during election.

And Japan's polling places are decreased year by year, its 30% close early.

"efforts" that don't raise voter turnout are repeated in recent Japan.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

The old formula still works for the ruling class: a corrupt LDP regime resting on the rotting foundations of a gerrymandered electorate worked to death while fed bread and circuses. Rinse and repeat.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

This is like watching a masochist re-elect its abuser.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

A 50-year-old part-time worker, Kana Kasai, said she voted for someone who she thought would “work fingers to the bone” for a better future.

Not the ruling LDP or Komeito then.

“I will take concrete steps to achieve our policies as soon as possible,” Kishida said. “I need to move quickly.”

A career in the ruling party did not give him enough prep time? He must need time to craft how he will urge Keidanren to please, just this time, listen to their LDP governing partners and give an equitable share to the workers.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

@klausdorth

Isn't it even less than that? Your second 50% is based on the number of seats but I understand they get a lot of seats from inaka prefectures with small populations. Would be very interested to know the actual percentage of eligible voters who voted for them.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Communist China could learn a lot from Japanese elections

A dejected and listless population, more non voters than voters.

The same party saying the same things for decades

Doesn't matter how many people die due to incompetence or neglect, with proper early education, no one will care

A media that cannot talk about issues or hold government to account

Doesn't need to worry about all the machinations of state control when a people just up and gives up

4 ( +9 / -5 )

a vote to speed up the downward spiral, great job

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The only two weeks' campaign period is not appropriate for dimocratic election, which just contributes to maintain current ruling canditate. We, Japanese voters shoud know this fact.

With all due respect, anyone who has been paying just a little attention has known that the election was coming months ago, so there's not much excuse for not knowing what the parties do and don't stand for a week before the polls.

In saying that, I do agree that the system is rigged to keep the LDP in power. But most Japanese don't seem to be concerned enough about it to change things.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This country is doomed.

3 ( +15 / -12 )

The local LDP benchwarmer in my area lost his single-member constituency seat to the Isshin guy. In fact, from TV last night it looks like Isshin took an almost clean sweep of Osaka Pref's single member seats, with a handful of Komeitos in the mix. But some LDP members might get back in via the multi-member seats.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Kishida’s immediate task has been to rally support for a party weakened by Suga’s perceived high-handed approach to pandemic measures and his insistence on holding the Tokyo Summer Olympics despite widespread opposition because of a high number of coronavirus cases, which have since dropped sharply.

Weakened, yet election results speak otherwise.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I knew I didn't have to eat my hat.

This is like China's one party system, but with elections!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It's alright, statisticians. The elections are over. You can now start releasing more realistic numbers for covid-19 infections.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Key takeaways: voter turnout was higher than it was under Abe's last two (seemingly inevitable) wins.

The "opposition" scored some big LDP scalps (Amari, Ishihara Jr, etc.), but other than that, both the CDC and Communists lost seats, together losing more than the "ruling coalition". (Komeito gained 3 seats.)

Amari resigning from his leadership position is probably the best news for Kishida, other than keeping a healthy majority for the LDP on his own, of course. Amari still pulls the strings, but he's not popular, and getting rid of him as a face of the ruling clique lets the PM put a fresh face in his place...perhaps even a woman?

Isshin's gains are the huge story that the press doesn't want to focus on (10th paragraph!). They saw the most spectacular gains, they're right- and not left-leaning, they have promised to lend the LDP its support in areas where it agrees, and, most importantly, have seemingly stolen the extremely vote-rich Osaka region away from the "opposition", and for a while to come, I would guess. The "opposition" can't win squat without Osaka.

Reiwa tripled its seats...to 3, while Japan's Social Democrats continue to be a party of 1, the loneliest number.

No one's writing about the abrupt withdrawal of Tokyo Koike's Kibo party...they won fully 50 seats last election, and almost 10 million votes. The replacement vehicle Democratic Party for the People, though gaining 3 seats, received nowhere near the support Koike's party once flexed. Where did all those voters go? To Isshin? Komeito? Or to the LDP, like they did in this year's Tokyo election? Were they perhaps turned off by a joining at the hip of the CDC with the Communists? You won't find much analysis on this...

And whatever you do, Press, do not point out that the LDP, if combined with partner Komeito and the Osaka powerhouse Isshin, could cobble together the two-thirds lower (though not the upper) house votes necessary to amend the constitution of Japan...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Now it will be back to doing nothing for the next 4 years…

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As I’m fond of saying, “change” is a dirty word for many here in Japan and it explains what motivates many to continue to vote for politicians who could care less about the average Saito-san (unless a vote is needed to stay in office). Having said this, it was sweet to watch politicians who had partied in Ginza during the pandemic pay for their hubris by losing. That restored some of my faith in the System. What hasn’t been highlighted is how well the few voters in a countryside district can be (discretely) taken care of by their elected official(s). I know many in the countryside who had easy access to vaccines and other forms of welfare support during the pandemic while we in the cities were waiting for shots or got almost zero help in terms of financial assistance. It really explains why the LDP rules in large parts of the countryside here. Keeping it discrete is the key, it seems, but with social media and the pandemic, I learned a lot about the Way even after decades here.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

An estimated 55.95 percent of eligible voters cast ballots, on course for the third worst turnout in the postwar era. About 106 million registered voters.

More perspective on the voter turn out topic.

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/66d73a5fad27e7c066cb0eecd5e92b0b4346a577

This time and worldwide, Japan as a country is 139th out of 194 as far as voter turn out goes...

As my J-wife always said: democracy is an imported concept that has never taken roots in Japan.

After 17 years spent in Japan, I can only agree with her...

If it was a voting-day in the Colosseum in ancient Rome, not only did half the spectators not bother to show up, but 30% of those who did voted for all of us to be thrown to the lions...yet again.

After 8+1 year of non-stop Abe scandals including 1 year of COVID complete mismanagement, followed by 1 year of Suga COVID complete mismanagement and Olympic infatuation-nonsense, with then Kishida flip-flopping on pretty much everything he said even before the general election, Japan leisurely continues to trundle its dark path into oblivion...Funs and frolics up ahead. Brace yourself!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Kishida repeatedly stressed his determination to listen to the people and to address criticism that the nine years led by Suga and Shinzo Abe had fanned corruption, tamed bureaucrats and muzzled opposing opinions.

haha... Kishida is a funny guy... how does he keep a serious face saying this?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

TomoyaToday  06:27 pm JST

There are too few foreign articles that touch on the reality that many Japanese, including myself, do not like the LDP but have no choice but to vote for the LDP because the other opposition parties in Japan are so bad.

Yet more Japanese people voted for the opposition parties than for the LDP.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Well that was exciting.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@HBJ

Maybe someone should just set up the 'Apathy Party' and run on the message of 'If you don't want to vote, or have absolutely no interest in politics, then cast your vote for us'.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oELL7hfKYfA

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Matt HartwellT

What are there actual policies? I went on Wikipedia and clicked a link to what was meant to be their homepage and the domain doesnt seem to be even registered

I had no problem using the link referenced on Wikipedia: https://o-ishin.jp/

Got any links or info in english?

If you use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge browsers, they can translate web pages into English automatically.

Cheers. Didnt seem to anything revolutionary in their policies. Just wondering why they went from 10 to 40 seats. Its pretty impressive in Japans extremely stale elections. And based on voter turnout, it suggests they have a pretty active supporter base. I imagine most of their votes were in one or two regions? Dunno.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Amari resigning from his leadership position is probably the best news for Kishida, .."

and for the rest of Japan,s political world as well.

Isshin's gains are the huge story that the press doesn't want to focus on (10th paragraph!). They saw the most spectacular gains, they're right- and not left-leaning..

Indeed , Isshin did spectatularly well..almost quadrupling its seats. Any admin reform minded party has got my vote..if I was allowed one , lol. Lets see whether Kishida himself will reform any of the things he promised since he has his mandate now, most likely not.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Braving a bit of rain, my wife and I went out to vote. I'll just say that our choices would not have pleased the great majority of commentators here. Tomoya-san is a welcome exception!

"Whenever I see foreigners who do not have the right to vote criticizing Japanese politics based on their own ignorance and preconceived notions, I am astonished. There are too few foreign articles that touch on the reality that many Japanese, including myself, do not like the LDP but have no choice but to vote for the LDP because the other opposition parties in Japan are so bad."

Well said! Of course, he gets a lot of down-votes...Reality is apparently not terribly popular...

What sort of Japan do the disgruntled here want? They never explain that! Something they have in their own country/countries? (I think of one glaring example in particular.) "Open borders"? High crime? Further deterioration of the family? A "leader" who can't string two coherent sentences together and panders to the deranged? If a party arose that defends the interests of all of its citizens, alters the Constitution to make Japan a fully independent country, armed to the teeth, and resolutely stands up for freedom in this part of the world, including, of course, Taiwan, I'd vote for it. In the meantime, the LDP is the best we can do.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Concrete steps.

Just what we need.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Nothing will fundamentally change in this country without something as extreme as a political revolution.

A political revolution however would require the younger generation stepping up and leading it, most likely in the form of protests and well thought out and targeted activism. I believe this could be done in a positive way, and it doesn't need to be violent. It would just require organization, motivation, and most importantly the willingness to act.

I don't see anything like this on the horizon though, as the youth as a whole don't seem to give two hoots about the way things are run, or the way they want things to be run in the future.

Maybe someone should just set up the 'Apathy Party' and run on the message of 'If you don't want to vote, or have absolutely no interest in politics, then cast your vote for us'.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Septim DynastyToday  01:14 pm JST

It is also quite mysterious that the JCP is so resilient and well-funded.

A bit like the LDP then, except we know they got a sackload of cash from the CIA,.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

opposition parties focused on diversity issues and pushed for gender equality

And how did that go for them? LOL

It's almost as if the public were not as ridiculously woke as left-wing political obsessives ... Who'd have guessed it?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

KhuniriToday  09:29 pm JST

Well said! Of course, he gets a lot of down-votes...

That'll happen when you rant about foreigners' "ignorance and preconceived notions."

Reality is apparently not terribly popular...

Neither is trolling.

If a party arose that defends the interests of all of its citizens, alters the Constitution to make Japan a fully independent country, armed to the teeth...

Being armed to the teeth is way overrated. Look what happened to France in 1940.

...and resolutely stands up for freedom in this part of the world, including, of course, Taiwan, I'd vote for it.

I wouldn't. I'd vote for a party that put voters, taxpayers, families and workers at the top of their list of priorities and Taiwan... well, somewhat further down. At the moment though, the right to vote in Japanese elections is not something I see as worth giving up my own nationality for.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Japan Innovation Party won nearly 40 seats, nearly quadruple the number it held prior to the election.

What are there actual policies? I went on Wikipedia and clicked a link to what was meant to be their homepage and the domain doesnt seem to be even registered

Got any links or info in english?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Matt HartwellT

What are there actual policies? I went on Wikipedia and clicked a link to what was meant to be their homepage and the domain doesnt seem to be even registered

I had no problem using the link referenced on Wikipedia: https://o-ishin.jp/

Got any links or info in english?

If you use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge browsers, they can translate web pages into English automatically.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why do these elections?

This is a one party celebrity system.

99% voted on no change….

So they must be happy campers after 30 years crisis.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

gintonicToday  01:55 pm JST

Indeed , Isshin did spectatularly well..almost quadrupling its seats. 

Which does no one any good whatsoever except the LDP. The opposition vote was split, the LDP won a majority by itself and so it doesn't need support from Ishin to get any legislation passed. Whatever reform agenda Ishin has is going to get nowhere. It's a waste of time voting for any opposition party that's fielding fewer than a hundred candidates.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

LDP swept my prefecture by sizable numbers. No other candidates stood a fighting chance.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japanese election system is not fair! it is very favorble for the current ruling party. Basically this election campaign period was too short for general public to consider which party or canditate is good to us. However, LDP, the largest party was able to make the campaign much longer thatn oposition parties in the name of presidential election. In US the campaign is one year, in Philipines it more tha 6 months. The only two weeks' campaign period is not appropriate for dimocratic election, which just contributes to maintain current ruling canditate. We, Japanese voters shoud know this fact.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The JCP will probably assimilate the DP and CDP in the future. They were successful at this scheme against Japan Socialist Party before that said Party disintegrated. The Opposition formed a coalition with the JCP because they lack manpower for campaigning, which the JCP provided for free. It is also quite mysterious that the JCP is so resilient and well-funded.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/27/world/asia/japan-election-communist-party.html

The LDP considers the JCP as the permanent threat more than any lesser Party or even the Komeito.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Whenever I see foreigners who do not have the right to vote criticizing Japanese politics based on their own ignorance and preconceived notions, I am astonished. There are too few foreign articles that touch on the reality that many Japanese, including myself, do not like the LDP but have no choice but to vote for the LDP because the other opposition parties in Japan are so bad.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Congratulations to Fumio Kishida!

Now let's make Japan great again!

-15 ( +4 / -19 )

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