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Japan Decides: The Japanese General Election

Goal: Analyses of the Japanese election.

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Robert Pekkanen
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The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) won a smashing majority (308 out of 480 seats) in the 2009 Lower House election. This historic election marked the first time that the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) did not win a plurality (at 119 seats). In 2012, the Japanese voters reversed the parties’ fortunes, awarding the LDP a huge majority (296) and humbling the DPJ (57 seats). Over their three-and-a-half-year reign, the DPJ would suffer numerous defections, finishing with only 230 seats when the election was called. The DPJ also managed to lose the confidence of the Japanese public. The main culprits were the mishandling of the US-Japan alliance (by the first DPJ PM, Yukio Hatoyama); ineffective response to the triple disasters of 11 March 2011 (by his successor Naoto Kan); controversy over the raising of the consumption tax (the third DPJ PM, Yoshihiko Noda); and criticism over the handling of a territorial dispute with China (the Senkaku Islands—Diaoyutai to China and Tiaoyutai to Taiwan). Several new parties emerged in this three-year period, and a total of a dozen parties contested the election. Most notably, the rise of the Japan Restoration Party meant that the DPJ maintained its lead as Japan’s second party over this newcomer by a mere two seats (57–55) in the House of Representatives (HR).
Robert Pekkanen
added 8 research items
It was all about Abe in 2014. With few intra-party challengers, a divided and weak opposition, and a huge victory in a December snap election gamble, Japan’s Prime Minister Abe finds unusual scope to lead the nation both domestically as well as internationally in his chosen course of “proactive pacifism.”
UPDATE: Japan Decides 2014 is now in production. The book is expected to be available from Palgrave in October 2015. Edited by Robert J. Pekkanen, Ethan Scheiner, and Steven R. Reed, the book includes 21 chapters by leading scholars covering the background, results, parties, campaigns, and policy issues of the December 2014 snap general election for the House of Representatives in Japan.
Robert Pekkanen
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An election in January? If so, then there will be a Japan Decides 2017!
 
Robert Pekkanen
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Robert Pekkanen
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Analyses of the Japanese election.