This video is called Japan DPJ win by a landslide – CCTV 083109.
By Peter Symonds:
Japanese voters sweep Liberal Democrats from office
31 August 2009
The opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) routed the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in lower house elections yesterday. The Liberal Democrats have held power in Japan since the party’s formation in 1955, with the exception of an 11-month period in 1993-94.
The result was a landslide for the Democrats. According to the Mainichi Shimbun, the DPJ has increased its presence in the lower house from 113 to 308 seats. Its two small allies—the Social Democratic Party and the Peoples New Party—won 7 and 3 respectively. As a result, the DPJ-led coalition will have 318 seats, just short of the two-thirds majority needed in the 480-seat lower house to override an upper house veto.
For the Liberal Democrats, the outcome is devastating. The party’s seat tally slumped from 300 to 119. Its coalition partner, New Komeito, dropped from 31 to 21 seats. Five cabinet ministers, including Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano, and party heavyweights such as General Council Chairman Takashi Sasagawa and former Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura lost their single-seat constituencies. Most will return to parliament via the 180 seats elected by proportional representation.
The remaining seats will be held by smaller parties and independents. The Japanese Communist Party retained its nine lower house seats. The Your Party won 5 and the New Party Nippon and New Party Daichi one each. Six independents were elected.
The Mainichi Shimbun estimated voter turnout at 69.3 percent—the highest since single-seat constituencies were established in 1996. An exit poll conducted by the newspaper found that about a third of people who described themselves as LDP supporters voted for the Democrats yesterday. Of those who said they supported no particular party, some 59 percent voted for the DPJ as against 23 percent of LDP.
The scale of the LDP’s defeat was underscored by the results in Tokyo. Of the single-seat constituencies in the capital, the Democrats won just one at the previous election in 2005. Yesterday, DPJ candidates took 21 of the 25.
Far from being a positive endorsement of the Democrats, the outcome reflected broad opposition to the LDP over deepening social inequality and the government’s support for the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Japan has been particularly hard hit by the global recession, which has led to sharp falls in exports and a wave of layoffs. Official statistics released on Friday put unemployment at a post-war high of 5.7 percent. Levels of poverty and homelessness are on the rise.
The Democrats appealed to voter disenchantment with a vague slogan of “change”. The party promised a number of limited handouts, including a child allowance, an end to highway tolls and income support for farmers. In foreign policy, the DPJ called for a more equal relationship with the US and closer economic and diplomatic ties with countries in Asia, including China and South Korea. It proposed ending Japan’s naval refuelling mission for US warships providing support for the US-led occupation of Afghanistan. …
For the Liberal Democrats, the defeat will certainly precipitate a deep internal crisis. Prime Minister Taro Aso has already announced that he will step down as party president. “The LDP has had four prime ministers in the last four years. People’s dissatisfaction and distrust about that came to the surface all of a sudden,” he told the media. …
It is not obvious who will replace Taro Aso as party president. Whoever does become leader will confront a party in turmoil. It is quite possible that the defeat will produce another string of defections as LDP parliamentarians look to their political future elsewhere.
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