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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 11:25 01/07/2008
News Review #427: January 7, 2008

New Poll Spells More Bad News for Japan Government

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

New Poll Spells More Bad News for Japan Government
AFP (1/6/2008)


It is reported in the AFP article linked above that the ruling LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) obtained only 33 percent of those who were recently polled by Mainichi, reflecting declining popularity for Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's government. This is probably due to negative publicity about mismanagement of public pensions and corruption at the Defense Ministry, although Prime Minister Fukuda's "successful" visit to China was not yet taken into account at the time of the poll.

However, what is serious about this poll result, at least from the viewpoint of Fukuda's LDP, is the fact that almost half of those surveyed said they would support the main opposition Democratic Party in the next general elections. In a sense, this might well be a rational choice on the part of Japanese voters for the purpose of resolving the dilemma of the divided parliament between the Upper and Lower Houses, since the Upper House cannot be dissolved arbitrarily by the prime minister, as the Lower House. Therefore, it would be much easier for the Democratic Party to gain a majority at the Lower House by dissolving it as many times as required. The only possible problem is whether the public can keep supporting the Democratic Party in that process. The recent polls appear to indicate that would be likely.

Given this situation, Prime Minister Fukuda has to make a bold move to regain its own popularity and public support for the LDP. However, Mr. Fukuda does not seem to be a kind of person who could give a big surprise to the public, as Mr. Junichiro Koizumi did when he unexpectedly visited North Korea. What is likely, therefore, is possible realignment or reshuffling of politicians across the existing party lines for their own survival in the near future.

This review is adopted from the following blog (with its Japanese translation):

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