Democracy 2.0 Hits Japan


hatoyama okada.jpg
The Democratic Party of Japan has scored a historic and monumental victory over the many decades ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Japan.
The DPJ has scored 308 seats in Japan’s powerful lower house while the LDP has retained only 119 seats. With various anti-conservative party allies, the DPJ should be able to control about 340 seats in the Lower House — 20 more than are needed to prevent the LDP from causing legislative mischief and roadblocks.
Japan now has a genuine two party structure — and the Japanese government that will soon take form succeeding the Taro Aso government — will be the first manifestation in many years that a post-WWII lobotomized Japan has now healed itself and is moving forward.
Japan will now learn to be itself, to pursue its own interests in a more healthy manner than in the past. The United States will remain Japan’s key ally — but less key than before. Japan will support America globally but not in all matters.
Japan will now become something new — and its democracy today is far more real than what it has had in decades.
More soon on the elections, but Tobias Harris is one of the best to check in on.
— Steve Clemons


10 comments on “Democracy 2.0 Hits Japan

  1. JohnH says:

    I was initially skeptical about Japan’s Democracy 2.0, wondering if Japan had actually come of age–would their democracy actually translate into independence?
    Turns it it may: “the DPJ ran on a platform condemning the LDP for, among other things, letting the US dictate its foreign policy.”
    “Japan’s incoming Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has called for a review of the bases agreement, as well as a broader review of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States and the complete closure of the Okinawa base. The party has also promised to end the Japanese military’s role in the Afghan War by the end of the year.”
    Good news for Japanese democracy; bad news for the authoritarians in charge of Washington foreign policy.


  2. Skeptical Observer says:

    Sure, the seat count doesn’t lie. The DPJ won this election.
    I find it hard to get too optimistic about the staying power of a party led by a fourth-generation politician (Hatoyama) and the protege of Tanaka Kakuei (Ozawa), in cooperation with assertive nationalists, social democrats, and a bunch of newbies. For the likelihood of political stability, this sounds like 1996 at best, 1993 at the worst. In fact, in 1993 Ozawa tried this once before.
    Given the serious disagreements over policy direction, I give the Hatoyama cabinet nine months before public dissatisfaction roars back again to Aso cabinet levels.
    Any other guesses on the duration of the first cabinet?


  3. Don Thieme says:

    I saw your interview just now with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now. You did an excellent job of explaining both the background to this election and its possible consequences for the United States and the world at large.


  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, maybe if they get it right, we can follow suit, fumigate Washington, and turn the USA into a democracy.


  5. ... says:

    that is exciting.. two parties you say?? lets hope they stay as far away from the template set in the usa for a system of that nature…something are worth imitating, and others not..


  6. Joy Reed says:

    I hope this makes things better for Japan.


  7. Martha Nakajima says:

    Although Hatoyama is another grandson of a past political luminary, apparently only about 10 percent of the democratic party`s newly elected parliamentarians are from hereditary political dynasties, vs nearly 50 percent of those from the liberal democrats who managed to hang on to seats. Interesting development.


  8. TonyForesta says:

    I’m one for multiple party politics. The twoparty system in Amerika has morphed into a de facto onepartysystem wherein the oligarchs and the predatorclass are the only constituents affectively “represented” in the conduct of the government. The people have ABSOLUTLELY ZERO INFLUENCE and REPRESENTATION!!!, and NO – I repeat – NO! – voice or influence in the conduct of the socalled government. It is long past time, when the American people have multiple party candidates in every race, representing multiple interests, and multiple constituents, – and NOT the single, and exclusive interests of the Amerikan predatorclass and thefew oligarchs that dominate Amerikan politics we have now.
    Amerikan politics is perverted, diseased, and terminally corrupted. The predatorclass, and the predatorclass oligarchs, the variou predatorclass industrial complexes, are in fact the government. These fiends, shaitans, and criminals have captured, as in own and control the socalled government, and until and unless there is some real representation, and real voice given to the American people, – Amerika is a fascist state owned and controlled by thefew, the predatorclass, and our once more perfect union is dead and gone. The more parties, the better. The twopartysystem in Amerika is in fact a onepartysystem owned, and controlled by the predatorclass fiends, shaitans, and criminals and ruthlessly bent on ravaging the peoples rights, freedoms, and protections, and advancing the singular and exclusive interests of the predatorclass alone, while diminishing, and undermining the best interests of the American people. Democracy is a system of government wherein the authority of the government is derived from the consent of the governed. We are living under fascism wherein the authority of the goverment is derived from the consent of select oligarchs and elites.
    The American people need to choose what kind of government we will countenance. Our current panjandrum is heavily tilted toward and protecting of the predatorclass, and select industrial complexes, – and wildly deleterious to the best interests of the American people.
    What kind of America do we want to bequeath our children????


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