Reports over the weekend suggest that one way the Democratic Party of Japan can regain the initiative on its Seiken Koutai regime change is to call another election in July. A do-over, essentially, where the goal would be to come back with numbers as strong or stronger than the ones they tallied last August.
There will already be an Upper House election, scheduled for July 11. And what dissolving the government would do would be to make the whole Lower House face the electorate again, and push both elections back by about two weeks, to July 25.
The possibility was raised in the context of Futenma, that there hasn’t really been any progress on resolving the Futenmna issue, nor now on mollifying Washington, which considers it all a breach. Prime Minister Hatoyama is suggesting the media is at fault. But honestly, I’d put the blame at the snarkiness that came out of the ruling party once it took office in September.
The Japanese government started to treat the Washington establishment the same way it treats residing foreigners here. And Washington didn’t appreciate it. (Just wait until Congress starts to hold hearings on the costs of the Japan alliance, and digging at every sweetheart deal that’s gone down the pike the last 60 years.)
If there needed to be any proof that Washington doesn’t, and hasn’t since the early 1950’s, “run Japan”, it’s the antics of the last several months.
I think a double election would do a lot to reaffirm the quiet anger of the populace that changes they expect to see in domestic policies should happen quickly and as promised.