Television networks’ exit polls gave the LDP 296 of the 480 seats in Japan’s lower house, while the party’s ally, New Komeito Party, is projected to receive 32 seats
December 18, 2012 – The former ruling party of Japan made a huge comeback during Sunday’s elections, riding a big wave of voter anxiety about the sluggish economy and China’s increase in global strength.
The Liberal Democratic Party enjoyed a resounding victory that put Shinzo Abe, the country’s former prime minister once again in power, where he will likely be tougher towards China and prevent Japan from abandoning its nuclear power, despite the disaster that took place following the devastating earthquake and tsunami last year.
Television networks’ exit polls gave the LDP 296 of the 480 seats in Japan’s lower house, while the party’s ally, New Komeito Party, is projected to receive 32 seats. Between the two parties, there would be enough for the two-thirds majority that is needed to overrule Japan’s upper house. This might break deadlocks that have stymied many of the government in Japan for many years.
Between 1955 and 2009, the Liberal Democrats controlled a near monopoly on government power. However, in late 2009 they were ousted by the Democratic Party, now headed by Yoshihiko Noda the Prime Minister. However, voters were upset with the way the party handled the economy and the disaster of last year. Polls suggest they will only win approximately 70 seats.
One political scientist said he thought the people in Japan felt they were stuck in a rut as the economy has failed to improve, China has passed them and there is a dwindling population as the birthrate continues to fall.
In addition, a group of new parties are making gains and trying to push the nationalist agenda. The Japan Restoration Party is the strongest of the group and is headed by Toru Hashimoto the Mayor of Osaka and Shintaro Ishihara the controversial former Governor of Tokyo.
Ishihara was instrumental in starting the standoff that is currently going on with China through a plan that was ill advised to purchase and then nationalize a chain of islands that the two countries each claim to be theirs.