Michael Cucek posts his thoughts on what the Japanese government’s political representation might be after a late fall or early 2013 election.
It’s clear that Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) won’t be holding power. But who will form the next government? And, to some extent, does the question matter the same way as it does in Western democracies? Isn’t it really more that ministries and shadow power players are the ones who decide what does and doesn’t happen? That is, when nature isn’t deciding.
Intraparty factionalism seems to be what causes democratic adjustments in Japan. For the 55 years that Jimintou (LDP) was on the top, the factions would trade off. This hard structure broke down in the early 1990s, and a more soft version carried along for the following 15 years. In a sense, the seiken koutai (“regime change”) election worked as the Ozawa (former Tanaka) faction breaking off an allying with former LDPers, other nonconformists, and the rump version of a social democratic party that Japan can muster.
Now, “2013” will create some new arrangement, for Japan to muddle along and make its various excuses for the mid-decade.