It was not taxes that took DPJ down a notch.

So says polling in a Japan Times article.

As I’ve been saying, the sense I have is that people wanted to see serious government reform, and reform of how business and labor function in Japanese society. And since October 2009, the people got very little of this–almost nothing, really.

The DPJ got the most votes on Sunday. It didn’t do as well as in the past, but it did acceptably compared to the cotinued weak showing of LDP. LDP won a huge number of single district seats in Japan’s more rural areas, but no one in the metropolitan areas was rushing to the LDP. Their results looked great because of quirks in the election rules that give small prefectures with 500,000 residents the same power as 2.5 million residents in Tokyo.

So all you do is flip a number of seats in lower population areas, and it looks like a big win. Similar to how the U.S. electoral college gives all those square states 2 senators and 3 electors for president. It gives them outsized influence.

Hopefully, the party will continue full steam ahead at “seiken koutai” (regime change). Otherwise, politicians will continue to traverse this same road of electoral surprise and voter dissatisfaction.