Likely LDP Defeat Has Implications for Japanese Defense

Likely LDP Defeat Has Implications for Japanese Defense

TOKYO -- After more than half a century of virtually uninterrupted rule by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Japanese voters look poised to opt for a change.

With dismal approval ratings and a series of local election losses -- most recently in bellwether Tokyo -- to the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), Prime Minister Taro Aso finally dissolved the House of Representatives on July 21, with an early general election now scheduled for Aug. 30.

Some say Aso acted now, rather than wait for an obligatory election later in the fall, in large part to resist growing calls to step down from within his own party. Aso is already the third LDP-chosen prime minister to govern without benefit of a popular mandate. He seems unlikely to get one now: The latest poll by the Asahi Shimbun showed the LDP trailing by 17 percent.

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