Japan's voters set to endorse political change
Saturday 17 July 1993
A total of 955 candidates will contest 511 seats in the Lower House, or Diet. For the first time since it was formed in 1955, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is set to lose its absolute majority in the Lower House, ending a political order which has served the Japanese people well during the period of economic reconstruction and simultaneous confrontation with Communism.
Opinion polls showed the LDP's popularity at 18 per cent, followed by two of the new opposition parties, the Japan New Party at 11.2 per cent, and the Shinsei party at 8.7 per cent. The Socialists, the main opposition until now, have languished at 6.6 per cent. The LDP is expected to emerge as the single largest party, but will need to attract a coalition partner to form a government. The price of this is likely to be electoral reform, which in turn will spark another election in the near future.
As candidates toured the country, white-gloved to symbolise their 'purity', giving speeches from the top of vans with powerful amplifiers until they went hoarse, the issue that most agreed upon was that it was time for Japan to break up the infamous 'steel triangle' of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen who have run the country over the past four decades.
This steel triangle, welded together by informal personal relationships and favours, has built a Japan which is a formidable economic machine, but is fundamentally inimical to ordinary consumers. The triangle has also become overly rigid, unable to flex itself to keep up with international and domestic change.
But very few alternative visions have been put forward during the campaigning, suggesting that it will take some time for Japan to find a new power structure. In the short term, voters appear confused about their politicians: one poll this week showed 43 per cent of potential voters still did not know which party they would vote for.
- 4 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for in the general election? Take The Independent's interactive quiz to find out which party is the right choice for you
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Met Gala 2015: Jason Derulo falling over in epic fashion, the event's most talked about moment, wasn't what it seemed
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...