The Japanese election is over, and as expected, the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) scored a big win. The LDP ruled Japan almost continuously since 1955 until they were booted out of power by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) in 2008. Voters returned the reigns to the old guard for several reasons, including frustration over the rocky economy and unfulfilled promises in the DJP’s “Manifesto” plus four years of ineptly handled foreign diplomacy, which caused important international relationships to suffer, including Japan’s ties with the U.S. They are also betting that the incoming Prime Minister Abe (ah-bey, not like the American President) will be better able to resist encroachment from China on the Senkaku Islands, a dispute which caused terrible anti-Japan riots this year. There’s hope that the business situation will improve for Japanese companies, too. While the DPJ had been positively hostile to business, refusing to listen to advice from the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) or aid important companies like Panasonic, Sony and Sharp, the election of the pro-business LDP has already sent the stock market here soaring.
The Japanese election is over and old guard is back.