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Author Topic: Japan 2012  (Read 13934 times)
jaichind
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« Reply #125 on: September 26, 2012, 05:51:51 am »
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Wow.  Abe wins LDP contest.  First time in 40 years LDP race has gone into a second round and first time in over 50 years the winner of the first round lost.  Of course this is also the first time a LDP chief is able to come back and win the post after leaving the post.  Not many people had expected this.  What is LDP up to ?  Have they not forgotten the 2007 election disaster and then the Abe on again off again resigniation fiasco ?  They guy had a mental breakdown in office back in 2007.  After the lower house election, I think a LDP-DPJ grand coalation is out with Abe in charge.
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« Reply #126 on: September 26, 2012, 09:29:26 pm »
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I do not believe this was the outcome that many people actually expected. I already like this leadership election. It opens the possibility of a LDP-Hashimoto coalition after the election. Because not only is Abe not particularly popular (hurting the chances of gaining an absolute LDP/NKP majority) he'd probably be more likely to be open to such a coalition.

Though I never thought of a LDP/NKP majority as being terribly likely, because the best-case LDP scenario would be to sweep the FPTP seats, but I don't see that happening in Kansai.

I am not particularly enamored with the man myself, but of the candidates, I am probably the most sympathetic towards his views on the recent territorial issues.
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jaichind
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« Reply #127 on: October 02, 2012, 07:40:33 am »
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Lastest Kyodo Poll

LDP                        39.4
DPJ                        12.3
Hashimoto Party       10.7

This level of LDP support will obviously fall as the Aso bounce fades.  But if
DPJ and Hashimoto Party support stays even, it will be a LDP landslide when
the election comes.
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« Reply #128 on: October 02, 2012, 12:01:54 pm »
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39.4% is insane. Koizumi didn't even break 39%.
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« Reply #129 on: October 06, 2012, 04:16:07 am »
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Well, the Yomiuri tracker is interesting.

LDP: 31 ---> 36
DPJ: 14 ---> 18
JRP: 16 ---> 13

So yeah, I think we can be certain that the "chikai mirai" will not come about very soon.
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« Reply #130 on: October 06, 2012, 04:36:47 am »
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Oh. I just checked that Kyodo poll. It was 30.4%, not 39.4%. That makes a lot more sense.
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jaichind
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« Reply #131 on: October 06, 2012, 12:17:44 pm »
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Oh. I just checked that Kyodo poll. It was 30.4%, not 39.4%. That makes a lot more sense.

Oops.. Thanks for correcting me
On a seperate note I think DPJ had another defection to YP.  DPJ majority down to 7 seats in the lower house.  There is also the issue of redistricting before an election can go forward due to supreme court ruling and the fact that the bill to issue more debt is outstanding. 
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« Reply #132 on: October 06, 2012, 10:41:55 pm »
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We were talking up YP as potentially set to do quite well a while back; do you guys think that's still the case?
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« Reply #133 on: October 12, 2012, 02:55:40 am »
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Words cannot describe how worthless I find much polling. There seems to be an assumption that cabinet support rate determines how many votes one get and then another assumption that polls where over half the voting population are undecided are somehow useful. Argh.
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« Reply #134 on: November 14, 2012, 06:14:49 am »
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Japan to hold general election Dec. 16

TOKYO, Nov. 14 Kyodo
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda was set Wednesday to dissolve the lower house for a general election on Dec. 16, a move opinion polls indicate could end his ruling Democratic Party of Japan's three-year hold on power.
Noda made the decision despite simmering opposition within his party as the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party declared Wednesday it would cooperate with conditions Noda set for a general election.
"I think I could dissolve the lower house Friday" if LDP President Shinzo Abe makes promises on cutting the number of
lawmakers in the 480-seat lower house, Noda said during a one-on-one debate with Abe in the chamber.
It was rare for a prime minister to specify the timing of a lower house dissolution in a parliamentary session.
Later Wednesday Abe said in a speech, "We'll fully cooperate
with the prime minister in the proposal to dissolve the lower house Friday."
"We'll do our utmost to try to enact legislation aimed at slashing the number of seats (in the lower house) during next year's ordinary parliamentary session," Abe said.
LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba also told reporters the LDP decided to "cooperate" and "sincerely accept" Noda's proposal on dissolving the lower house.
Noda's decision comes as his government has secured passage of key bills, including a debt-financing bill for the current fiscal
year through March, with cooperation from the LDP and its ally the
New Komeito party.
The 55-year-old premier appears to have judged that he has to fulfill a promise he made to major opposition party leaders in August that he would go to the people "sometime soon" in exchange for their support in passing a bill to double the 5 percent sales tax by 2015. Shrugging off opposition within the ruling party, Noda decided
to call a general election, which must be held by next summer.
As part of electoral system reform, Noda's DPJ envisages cutting the number of lower house seats in single-seat constituencies by five to 295 and slashing the number in proportional representation blocks by 40 to 140.
Noda has vowed to achieve the electoral reform in exchange for imposing an additional burden on the public as his government decided to double the 5 percent sales tax rate by 2015.
The country's top court last year judged that the disparity in the weight of votes between the least and most populous electoral districts for the lower house is so great as to be unconstitutional. Noda's remarks came after the LDP and its ally the New Komeito party agreed earlier Wednesday to submit a no-confidence motion to
the lower house against Noda's Cabinet if he does not dissolve the chamber by the end of this year, lawmakers said.
Under the Constitution, if the lower house passes a
no-confidence motion, the Cabinet has to resign en masse unless the chamber is dissolved within 10 days.
Many DPJ lawmakers, meanwhile, do not want an early election as recent polls show the DPJ, which in 2009 ended over 50 years of
almost continuous rule by the LDP, could lose power in the next election.
According to an opinion poll by Kyodo News earlier this month, the LDP secured 27.7 percent support, higher than 12.1 percent of the DPJ.
Recent polls show that the DPJ, which swept to power in 2009, ending more than 50 years of almost uninterrupted LDP rule, could suffer a crushing defeat in the next election.
As Noda pushed through his prized policy goal of the consumption tax hike, many lawmakers, such as former party president Ichiro
Ozawa, have left the DPJ, placing the party at risk of losing its majority in the more powerful lower house.
Ozawa, who now heads the opposition People's Life First party,
is credited with orchestrating the DPJ's election victory, supporting then president Yukio Hatoyama, the first prime minister under the DPJ-led government.
Hatoyama stepped down as premier in June 2010, after less than nine months in the post, amid criticism over his broken campaign promise to move the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station outside Okinawa Prefecture.
Naoto Kan, Hatoyama's successor, was forced to resign in August last year as criticism grew for his lack of leadership following the devastating March 2011 earthquake-tsunami disaster and the ensuing nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
Noda, who took office in September last year, succeeding Kan, is expected to campaign in the lower house election with the promise of Japan's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks, which the LDP opposes.
The LDP urged Noda to dissolve the lower house by the end of
this year amid speculation the party could emerge as the largest
force in the chamber after the next general election.
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« Reply #135 on: November 14, 2012, 09:02:02 am »
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Turkeys voting for Xmas? Though I'm quite disappointed that the LDP opposes TPP, if not surprised because they're pandering to Big Ag.
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« Reply #136 on: November 14, 2012, 12:41:56 pm »
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NHK World showed a poll that said DPJ 12%, LDP 25%, Another Party 45%. Has there ever been an election where "Another Party" has won the most seats?
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« Reply #137 on: November 14, 2012, 12:43:22 pm »
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NHK World showed a poll that said DPJ 12%, LDP 25%, Another Party 45%. Has there ever been an election where "Another Party" has won the most seats?

Not really (unless you count that weird Eight-Party Alliance period in the nineties, which I don't), but Japanese polling is generally terrible. The upshot is that the DPJ's going down, and other than Abe's endemic saber-rattling I don't have as much of a problem with this as I would have expected to even a few months ago, despite find Noda personally sympathetic.
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« Reply #138 on: November 16, 2012, 02:56:57 am »
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Taken the liberty of changing the thread title.
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jaichind
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« Reply #139 on: November 17, 2012, 12:15:48 pm »
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Tokyo Ex-governor Joins New Conservative Party
By MARI YAMAGUCHI
Tokyo (AP) -- Outspoken leaders from Japan's two biggest cities formed a national political party Saturday, seeking to become "a third force" to lure undecided voters and challenge the country's two biggest parties.
Nationalist Shintaro Ishihara, who resigned as Tokyo governor to create his own party this week, said he is scrapping his four-day-old group to join the Japan Restoration Party formed in September by the young and brash mayor of Osaka, Toru Hashimoto.
The announcement comes the day after Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda dissolved the lower house of parliament, paving the way elections next month. His ruling party is expected to give way to a weak coalition government divided over how to tackle Japan's myriad problems. The biggest problems are getting a stagnant economy going again and reconstruction after the crippling March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Elections are set for Dec. 16, with official campaigning starting Dec. 4. If Noda's centrist party loses, the economically sputtering country will get its seventh prime minister in six and a half years.
Japan is going through a political transition with a merry- go-round of prime ministers and the mushrooming fringe parties to challenge the long-dominant Liberal Democrats' return.
"This country is going to fall apart if we don't act now," Ishihara told Saturday's party convention held in Osaka, announcing the merger of his party and Hashimoto's. "I've decided to ignore small differences to join hands on common ground. This will be my last service for the country." Apparently, Ishihara made concessions to Hashimoto's policy supporting phase-out of nuclear energy and participating in the U.S.-led trans-Pacific trade block. The timing of the election could pre-empt moves by more conservative challengers to build enough electoral support.
Ishihara, 80, now heads the Japan Restoration Party, replacing Hashimoto, who now serves No. 2 post.  Hashimoto, 43, has said he will remain mayor of Japan's second-largest city and not run in the election.  On Saturday, he announced backing 47 candidates to run in the polls.
"We'll claw our way through the election battle ó not just to win seats, but to change the root of this country," Hashimoto told a televised party convention. "We will change all forces that try to defend the status quo."
The DPJ, in power for three years, has grown unpopular largely because of its handling of the Fukushima nuclear crisis and its plans to double the sales tax.
Noda's most likely successor is LDP head and former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He resigned as Japan's leader in 2007 after a year in office due to stomach ailment.
Polls indicate that the conservative, business-friendly LDP will win the most seats in the 480-seat lower house but will fall far short of a majority. That would force it to cobble together a coalition of parties with differing policies and priorities. Many of the newly formed small groups are formed by defectors of Noda's party, and Japan now has at least 15 political parties, half of them with only several members. Although DPJ's rise to power was initially seen as a chance to have stable British-style two-party system in Japan, their troubled rule and infighting have prompted divisions and defections, not necessarily based on policies.
"Now there is no division of conservative, liberal or centrist. There is no telling which two are the main parties," said political commentator Shigetada Kishida on a TV talk show Saturday. "We are now in the process of figuring out which parties should take charge of Japan as an alternative." Political leaders took to the streets Saturday to make their election appeals to voters.
Noda, who visited schools in Tokyo, called the party merger "no-principle coalition" that neglected policies.
"We have mountains of problems to tackle ó the economy, energy issues, diplomacy and political reforms.  Do we want to push them forward or backward?  That's what the elections are all about and I will convince voters who should be in charge," Noda told reporters.
In Kumamoto, southern Japan, Abe accused Noda's party of failing to achieve results. "Their existence itself is political vacuum. We should get rid of them, or the vacuum only continues."
Ishihara said his party aims to be "a second force" not third, to be close enough to take power.
Ishihara resigned as Tokyo governor and created the Sunrise Party with several ultra-conservative national lawmakers Tuesday. As governor, Ishihara helped instigate the territorial spat with China by saying Tokyo would buy and develop the disputed East China Sea islands controlled by Japan but claimed by Beijing. The central government bought the islands, apparently to thwart Ishihara's more inflammatory plans, but failing to calm China's anger.
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« Reply #140 on: November 18, 2012, 01:42:04 pm »
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Honestly, I'd almost be tempted to vote LDP at this point if they had a more peaceable leader.
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jaichind
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« Reply #141 on: November 20, 2012, 11:53:31 pm »
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Everyone seems to think that LDP-New Komeito will win but not capture a majority.  I am pretty sure they will.
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« Reply #142 on: November 21, 2012, 05:42:30 pm »
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Are they underestimating the "virtues" of FPTP ?
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jaichind
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« Reply #143 on: November 22, 2012, 12:39:25 pm »
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I think so.  Bear in mind, under the 1947-1933 election system in Japan, there is no way the LDP/New Komeito would capture a majority in the upcoming election.  But in a system where 300 of 480 are FPTP and the split of the anti-LDP votes between DPJ, Ozawa Party, JRP and Your Party, the LDP/New Komeito will do very well in FPTP.  What makes it extra powerful is the fact the LDP personal vote of its candidates that have good grassroots organization plus the discplined New Komeito vote (around 8% or so) that is almost all transftered to the LDP candidate.  One can see how in lots of districtes the LDP/New Komneito candidate will capture 35% of the vote and win.

Are they underestimating the "virtues" of FPTP ?
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« Reply #144 on: November 22, 2012, 12:58:36 pm »
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Yeah, I'm expecting an LDP/New Komeito majority, albeit a narrow one.
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« Reply #145 on: November 22, 2012, 02:16:38 pm »
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Asahi Shimbun had two polls recently.  One 11/16 and one 11/18

The 11/16 had
LDP   23
DPJ   16
JRP     6
NKP    3

and 11/18 had
LDP   23
DPJ   15
JRP   16
NKP    4

If I were LDP I will be much happier with 11/18 poll.  LDP-NKP are at 27 and DPJ and JRP split evenly at 15 and 16.  The chances of anti-LDP tactical voting goes down with a virtual tie between DPJ and JRP as opposed to the 11/16 poll where anti-LDP tactical voting should help DPJ to defeat LDP. 

LDP-NKP got around 40% in FPTP in 2009 when they were crushed in a landslide.  This time, if the polls are right,  I figure they are good for 38% or so with DPJ and JRP in the low to mid 20% and remaining votes split between Ozawa's outfit, JCP, YP and various independents (mostly pro-LDP).  Without anti-LDP tactical voting the LDP-NKP should cruse to a big win in the FPTP seats.
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« Reply #146 on: November 28, 2012, 10:38:00 pm »
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If JRP gets second place, do people start freaking out?
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« Reply #147 on: November 29, 2012, 07:56:52 am »
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Are the polls really that meaningful when half of those polled are undecided.
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« Reply #148 on: November 29, 2012, 01:21:11 pm »
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Another "third force" block forms.  This can only be good news for LDP.

The governor of Shiga Prefecture said Tuesday she will establish a new political party with the aim of becoming a major "third force" around a week before the start of official campaigning for the Dec.16 general election.

Yukiko Kada, 62, said at a press conference that she plans to team up with legislators and others who support her policies, including phasing out nuclear power, and to field candidates in the upcoming House of Representatives election.

Kada said it is "possible" for her to work together with former Democratic Party of Japan leader Ichiro Ozawa, who currently heads the People's Life First party, which is against nuclear energy. Her remarks suggest that the new party, named Nippon Mirai no To (Japan Future Party), could become another third force in rivalry
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« Reply #149 on: November 29, 2012, 01:24:23 pm »
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JRP begin second place is less revelent since it will only run 141 candidates out of 300 districts so this level of support will not translate into a lot of seats.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Japanís LDP Leads in Latest Nikkei Public Opinion Poll

(Bloomberg) -- Opposition Liberal Democratic Party leads with 23%, followed by Japan Restoration Party at 15% and current governing Democratic Party of Japan with 13%, Nikkei reports.
LDP down 2pts from Nov. 16-18 Nikkei poll
 Japan Restoration Party overtakes governing DPJ after merger with party of Shintaro Ishihara
 Poll conducted Nov. 26-28 surveyed 1,406 households with responses from 865 voters
 
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