Tokyo election result: Three top parties connected to LDP by stealth

Tokyo election result: Three top parties connected to LDP by stealth

Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The outcome of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) sums up the Japanese political system. This concerns the dominance of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) apart from a few minor blips over the decades. Therefore, the first three parties in terms of seats are all connected to the ruling LDP.

Hence, the bizarre spectacle of the LDP winning the most seats from second place Tomin First no Kai (Tokyoites First) – along with the third main party Komeito (an ally of LDP) happened. The Tokyoites First happens to be founded by the current Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike. In turn, Koike is connected strongly with the LDP. Hence, Koike hopes to become the future leader of Japan under the LDP (even if this doesn’t materialize). Thus Tokyoites First is connected to the LDP by stealth – even if they claim to hold a none LDP political platform.

Modern Tokyo Times recently stated in another article, “If you don’t understand the significance of this, then Koike in the past ran to become the leader of the LDP. Indeed, she was the Defense Minister under the former leader Shinzo Abe. In turn, Abe is a close friend of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who also seeks to maintain the path of Abe’s policies in many areas. Therefore, it is LDP versus LDP but with the Japanese political slant of alleged competition.”

The outcome of the five main parties in terms of seats is LDP 33, Tokyoites First 31, Komeito 23, Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 19, and the Constitutional Democratic Party (CDP) 15. Thus, the JCP and CDP – who are the two main opposition parties to the LDP – roughly polled and won the same number of seats. Therefore, the LDP and its ally Komeito failed to win an outright combined majority – leaving Koike in a nice LDP power-play position because Tokyoites First held its ground despite losing seats compared to the 2017 election.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (LDP) will feel pressure from the negative result because polls had indicated that the LDP would win many more seats in the TMA. Reuters reports, “The disappointing result could put pressure on Suga, whose term as LDP president expires at the end of September. The head of the LDP is virtually assured of being prime minister, given the party’s dominance in parliament.”

However, the real loser is the Tokyo electorate because the first three main parties in terms of seats won are all connected to the LDP. This concerns the natural ally (Komeito) and the ally by stealth (Tokyoites First and LDP connection via Koike). In this sense, it is a political shambles but tainted by a strange LDP nuance that continues decades after decades at the national level. Therefore, no change within the power dynamics of the TMA and no future dynamics in the next general election – even if Suga is replaced.


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