Monthly Archives: August 2009

Time for a Change

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aso      Yesterday’s general election for the Lower House was historic. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which had ruled Japan for 56 long years (In 1993, they had been the oppostion for eight mounths.), has fallen from power at last. It has decreased its seat to 119 from a pre-election 300. Many LDP bigwigs including former a Prime Minister were rejected.

     On the other hand, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which was the largest opposition before the election, has increased its seat to 308 from 115. The power relationships between the LDP and the DPJ have completely changed.

     In addition, other parties have lost their presence behind the DPJ’s enormous gain. New Komeito Party, which had been a ruling coalition partner with the LDP for ten years, couldn’t win at all in the single-seat election districts. Even its party leader and party secretary generals were defeated yesterday. Moreover, other parties couldn’t increase their seats. hatoyama

     This time not only most non-partisans but also people who used to support the LDP and Komei Party have given their votes to the DPJ. But they didn’t poll because of their expectations to the DPJ. They expected breaking out of this sense of stagnation. As Flanklin Pierce Adams, who was an American columnist at the beginning of the 20 century, said, “Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody."

     However, the election was historic indeed. Japanese people made a move and showed public opinion. It’s time for a change. Many of us have relied on the government, and have expected what it does for them, but we should think what to do for our society and take own responsibility from now on.

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The General Election for the House of Representatives in 2009

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     Today is the general election day for the Lower House in Japan. This election is attracted because the Liberal Democratic Party might fall from power. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, about 14 million voters have already polled before the voting day, and it is a 56.0% increase on the previous election in 2005.

     The Prime Minister has abandoned his duty during the term suddenly for the second time in a row, and many ministers have disgraced. The present Prime Minister has been accused for appointing those as the cabinet members and he himself has been criticized for lots of improper speeches and for the lack of leadership.

     Many people have been disappointed the current administration. In the midst of all this, the largest opposition of the Democratic Party of Japan has raised the expectations of many people. The LDP has been the ruling party for 54 years since after the World War II (In 1993, they couldn’t have clean majority and they losed power. The government was ruled by the coaltion, which had had power for eight monthes.) but it would go into opposition.

     Nevertheless, I thought the LDP didn’t have much awareness of the danger the other day. An election campaign car came to my area and called the name of a candidate many times loudly. Yes, it’s common in Japan. But there was a strange thing. The voice said, “The candidate isn’t in the car! Look behind! The candidate is running! She’s perspiring for all of you now! Yes! She was a marathon runner of the national team for the Seoul Olympic Games!”

     The campaign car didn’t say anything about the candidate’s policy, but just repeated her name loudly. The voice even said, “Remember her name! And write her name on the election day, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease!” Do they believe voters give their votes to him or her if they bring someone famous, such as TV talent and athletes as a candidate, and just let us remember the  name?

     In addition, the former Olympic athlete belonged to the DPJ before, but this time she has converted to the LDP and has changed the election area to run for election this time. Although I’ve read her agenda, I can’t see what she’s going to do if she becomes a low maker in blunt terms…Well, I’ll see if the regime is changed or not soon.