U.K. election: Cameron and Clegg, and why you won’t see such a thing in Japan

Reading Roger Cohen in the New York Times, I wondered how the British election result, which there is a rare coalition of two parties, is so unlike the outcome anyone can expect in Japan.

Especially after the July 11 Upper House election here, where it is all but certain that Minshuto and its two junior coalition members will lose control.

The difference between European and Japanese politics is that the Europeans seem to find a way—even in a place with little tradition of coalitions like Britain—to agree to some workable arrangement. But in Japan, you can hardly imagine seeing this coming to be.

The sad irony is that under Minshuto, virtually nothing has changed. It’s just the fact that, before, DPJ de facto head Ozawa was on the outside looking in, and over the past year, has been on the inside looking out. But instead of consolidating the increased power he had obtained as a result of last summer’s Lower House election, he frittered it away on some kind of goofy anti-Americanism that was supposed to substitute for the fact that Minshuto really didn’t have a plan once they won.

The goofiness is in this month-after-month “Futenma controversy” over the Marine Corps base in Okinawa, that I have blogged about previously. I don’t want to add very much here, except to say I’m amazed how it has become a recurring headline in 2010. For certain, last year’s election was not about that here. The Japanese voters who thought they were getting “regime change” must be really pissed by now.

For the past fifteen yerars, politics seems to have revolved around Ozewa, his alliances and betrayals. A long time when you look at it, since the two men running Britain now were in their late 20’s when Ozawa started up here with this. When so much of politics revolves around the shenanigans of one man for so long, you know the result can’t be good. This is probably why 75% of the Japanese public want to see him on his way.

With the July 11 election result, it most likely will mean that DPJ/Minshuto will not be able to pass laws without the help of a party outside of Ozawa’s circle. So unless Komeito is willing to do deals, I think it means the DPJ will have to call a Lower House election sometime after that.

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