Published On: Sun, Mar 10th, 2013
MainBlock / Politics & Strategy | By bmcsr | عدد المشاهدات 782

The Rise and Fall of the Democratic Party of Japan

On the eve of the 2009 elections, Japan faced a host of problems: declining birth-rates, an ageing population, the collapse of the agricultural sector, economic stagnation, rising unemployment, large national debt and realignment of geo-political power dynamics with the rising power of China. Was the LDP able to reform sufficiently to deal with these problems?

Author: Samee Siddiqui

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) came into power in 2009 with promises of bringing long-term change to the Japanese political system: giving the cabinet policy making power, changing the U.S.-Japan security relationship and moving away from massive infrastructure and public works spending. This was supposed to be a water-shed moment in post-war Japanese history. After three years of undelivered policy changes, the DPJ incurred heavy losses in the 2012 elections and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), with Shinzo Abe as the premier, are back in power once again.

The 2009 elections brought an end to what became known as the 1955 system. The former Japanese Prime Minister engineered the merger of two conservative parties in response to the threat from a strong opposition from the political left. The merger reduced the opposition to an almost “permanent minority” and Japan became a ‘1.5 party system .’

This system was based on political stability, not plurality, and the LDP was in power between 1955 and 2009, barring an 11 month period in opposition, and even then they were the largest party in the Japanese parliament, the Diet…Read more.