Wall Street Journal on the LDP threat to put forth a no confidence motion against the DPJ government.
The LDP is looking to pressure the DPJ into an early election for the Lower House. Japan must hold this by mid 2013. The DPJ, as you may know, won a big landslide in 2009—and then proceeded to fritter that public goodwill away. The LDP had previously held the majority in the Lower House, and spent years not doing much to address Japan’s chronic and pressing concerns. This leads some observers, like Eamonn Fingleton, to say that there really aren’t chronic problems in Japan. I buy a lot of what he says. But it doesn’t explain why the general public is ususally 60% opposed, and, at best, 20% in favor of the successive prime ministers’ cabinets.
Japan isn’t run by its elected representatives. It’s run by people behind the scenes. Sure, the elected reps are there, going through the motions. But I don’t think they do very much on their own, party initiatives. They do what powerful vested interests allow.
It’s clear that the Finance Ministry wants the 10% consumption tax. The LDP party would like an early Lower House election. So the LDP is going to make a lot of noises about no confidence, and then turn around and vote the 10% consumption tax bill in the Upper House.