September 4, 2005


LDP leading in polls with a week to go: Single-party majority possible, but 36% of voters are still undecided (Japan Times, 9/05/05)

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is likely to win a majority Sept. 11, while the Democratic Party of Japan may not end up with the 175 seats it held when the House of Representatives was dissolved, a Kyodo News survey shows.

The findings, which indicate the LDP could secure 241 seats, apparently reflect a general feeling among voters that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi was correct in calling the election over the single issue of postal privatization.

Such an outcome, however, is still anything but certain, as the DPJ appears strong in certain districts outside the large cities, unlike in previous elections, while about 36 percent of voters have yet to decide which party or candidates to vote for.

If Mr. Koizumi actually manages to set Japan on a Third Way path it would be a historic achievement, though just setting out is no guarantee you'll get there and we remain dubious enough of his countrymen will even be willing to begin the trek.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 4, 2005 8:33 PM

Underestimating the capabilities of the Japanese has historically been a poor idea.

Posted by: Brandon at September 5, 2005 9:45 AM

Overestimating the Japanese has also historically been a common idea.

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 5, 2005 10:20 AM

The lost WWII and squandered our rebuilding of their country. Kicked Ruskie bootie though.

Posted by: oj at September 5, 2005 1:01 PM

They squandered the pos-WWII rebuild? Japan built the second largest economy in a country with no natural resources and are the world leaders in a variety of industries. And they did this without almost any American aid. Japan did not receive any Marshall Plan aid. The only boost they got was inadvertent - the US military had to spend money in Japan as a staging area during the Korean War.

In short:
1) The US did not rebuild their economy, the Japanese did.
2) The Japanese were phenomenally successful in that rebuilding.

The Japanese will be just fine.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at September 5, 2005 7:39 PM
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