It’s that time again. Another election.
Lately, Prime Ministers in Japan have lasted less than 2 years. Ever since Junichiro Koizumi retired, there have been 6 Prime Ministers in the last 6 years. They are, in chronological order, Shinzo Abe, Yasuo Fukuda, Taro Aso, Yukio Hatoyama, Naoto Kan, and the current Prime Minister, Yoshihiko Noda. Hatoyama, Kan, and Noda are all from the Democratic Party of Japan, which was the first party to defeat the Liberal Democratic Party after decades of one party rule. Well, the DPJ hasn’t been entirely popular, and the LDP may return as the government after December 16th. Shinzo Abe is the leader of the LDP once again, so he may be the next Prime Minister.
It seems that Japan’s government has been quite ineffective and unchanging since Koizumi. The Diet is mostly old guard, unwilling to accept new ideas, and move forward in the 21st century. Change is needed, but it likely won’t happen until the old guys retire and let the younger generation take over. Unfortunately, many young people don’t seem to care about much of anything, so it’s not a good sign for Japan’s future. We’ll see after the election.