Japan election looms but apathy rules the day!

Japan election looms but apathy rules the day!

Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

The nation of Japan isn’t meant to be governed by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) decade after decade. Instead, Japan is meant to be a thriving democratic nation. However, in over six decades, the LDP usually emerges as the victor.

Taro Aso (LDP) lost the election in 2009 concerning his ineptness. Ironically, he lost to Yukio Hatoyama, who is related to one of the most important political founders of the LDP. Therefore, the dynastic family nature of Japanese politics is never-ending.

In just over one year, the LDP has been led by three different individuals. Henceforth, internal LDP factionalism – and the elitist family merry-go-round – remains in earnest. Thus, recent low electorate turnouts sum up the apathetic nature of Japanese politics in the early 21st century.

Modern Tokyo Times recently said, “From the 1960s onward – until the early 21st century – voter turnout was usually between 63 to 75 percent. However, in the last two elections, the voter turnout was 52.65 percent in 2014 and 53.69 percent in 2017. Hence just below 50 percent of people couldn’t be bothered to vote.”

The upcoming election is more open than usual. This concerns opposition parties unifying the best candidate to challenge the LDP in one-on-one political confrontations. Hence, in approximately 200 constituencies, people have a clear pro-LDP or anti-LDP choice.

In 2009, Hatoyama – who ousted endless LDP rule despite being related to one of the founding fathers of the LDP – gained from the 69.19 percent turnout. However, projections are for another low turnout. Therefore, political apathy seems set to continue.

It also sums up the weak opposition who are working together – despite sharing little in common politically. Hence, despite the LDP having three political leaders in the last 13 to 14 months, the opposition parties still can’t appeal to the electorate individually.

The LDP looks set to lose seats but to hold onto power with the support of Komeito, the junior partner in the coalition.


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