Landslide victory for Democrats in Japanese elections

The Democratic Party of Japan, led by Yukio Hatoyama, wins a landslide majority in the Japanese House of Representatives, ending over a half-century of near continuous LDP rule.

Democratic Party of Japan

Democratic Party of Japan

Hatoyama, ran against now former Prime Minister of Japan and Liberal Democratic Party leader Taro Aso.

The results of the election were announced today, less that two and a half hours after polling stations closed, and end 54 years of nearly unbroken rule by the LDP. It has been estimated that roughly 30% of LDP supporters voted for the victorious DPJ, mainly due to the current economic climate.

The Liberal Democratic Party was left with just 57 of 480 total seats. Outgoing Prime Minister Taro Aso has promised to resign as party leader, saying, “I believe this is the judgement of the public and we have to accept that and reflect on what we did. The people have shown their disappointment with the party and I have to accept that as my destiny. I think I should take responsibility for the defeat.” Aso also said that he will stay on as leader until a new one is chosen.

The Democratic Party has already informally allocated a number of cabinet positions and has set to work drafting improvements to the existing stimulus package. The newly elected party also pledges to focus spending on households, especially rural families and those with children. Tokyo economist Koichi Haji predicts that the hope instilled in the Japanese people by the election result will stimulate the economy, causing stock prices to rise.

However, questions have been raised about the Democratic Party’s stability, due to the wide spectrum of views and ideologies the party encompasses.

The Democratic Party of Japan (民主党, Minshutō) is a political party in Japan founded in 1998 by the merger of several opposition parties.

The Liberal Democratic Party (自由民主党, Jiyū-Minshutō), frequently abbreviated to LDP or Jimintō (自民党?), is a centre right, conservative political party in Japan. It had been one of the most consistently successful political parties in the democratic world. The LDP ruled for nearly 54 years since its founding in 1955 before it was defeated by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) in 2009.

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