Japanese general election, 2012


Yoshihiko Noda
Democratic

Elected Prime Minister

Shinzo Abe
Liberal Democratic

Japan
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A general election was held in Japan on 16 December 2012 Voters gave the Liberal Democratic Party a landslide victory, ejecting the Democratic Party of Japan from power after three years It was the fourth worst defeat suffered by a ruling party in Japanese history

Voting took place in all representatives' constituencies of Japan including proportional blocks, in order to appoint Members of Diet to seats in the House of Representatives, the lower house of the National Diet of Japan This was the 46th general election of members of the House of Representatives 第46回衆議院議員総選挙, dai-yonjūrokkai Shūgiin giin sōsenkyo in Japan since 1869

In July 2012 it was reported that the deputy prime minister Katsuya Okada had approached the Liberal Democratic Party to sound them out about dissolving the house of representatives and holding the election in January 20131 An agreement was reached in August to dissolve the Diet and hold early elections "shortly" following the passage of a bill to raise the national consumption tax2 It was reported that as the result of introducing the consumption tax to repay the Japan public debt,34567 the DPJ lost around 75% of its pre-election seats89

Contents

  • 1 Background
  • 2 Polling
    • 21 Party polling for the 180 proportional seats
    • 22 PM polling
  • 3 Pre-election composition
  • 4 Results
  • 5 Post-election
    • 51 Overview of results
    • 52 Reactions and analysis
    • 53 Voiding of election
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links

Backgroundedit

The LDP had governed Japan for all but three years since 1955 However, in the 2009 election, the LDP suffered the worst defeat of a sitting government in modern Japanese history Due to the characteristics of the Japanese election system, DPJ candidates won 308 seats in the House of Representatives 642% of seats, enabling Yukio Hatoyama to become prime minister Since then, Japan has had two other prime ministers, Naoto Kan and Yoshihiko Noda On 16 November, Noda dissolved parliament, thus allowing for a new election in a month's time He cited the lack of funds to carry on the functions of government and the need for an emergency budget

Dissatisfaction with the DPJ-led government and the former LDP-led government led to the formation of several grassroots movements, collectively known as the "third pole," to counter the two major parties10 The former Governor of Tokyo Shintarō Ishihara announced the renamed and re-formed of the Sunrise Party on 14 November 2012 Ishihara co-leading with Takeo Hiranuma11 On 17 November 2012 Mayor of Osaka Tōru Hashimoto and former Tokyo Governor Shintarō Ishihara announced the merger of the Japan Restoration Party and the Sunrise Party as a third force to contend the 16 December 2012 general election12 It is Japan's first national political party that is based outside of Tokyo13

On 23 November, Mayor of Nagoya Takashi Kawamura, former state minister Shizuka Kamei and former farm minister Masahiko Yamada joined forces together to launch Tax Cuts Japan – Oppose TPP – Zero Nuclear Party as another "third pole" national political party14 On 28 November, the Governor of Shiga Yukiko Kada in Ōtsu announced the establishment of an anti-nuclear and equal gender party known as the Tomorrow Party of Japan becoming the second national party based outside of Tokyo Concurrent the DPJ splitter group, People's Life First president Ichirō Ozawa dissolved the party and merged into the Tomorrow Party Tax Cuts Japan – Oppose TPP – Zero Nuclear Party and Japan Future Party are negotiating to merge parties to further counter the major parties and the pro-nuclear parties15 On 27 November Tax Cuts Japan – Oppose TPP – Zero Nuclear Party officially announced they would merge with Tomorrow, with party co-leader Mashahiko Yamada saying "We would also like to raise our hands in joining because our ways of thinking are the same" 16

Pollingedit

Graph of poll results since 2009
  Democratic   Liberal Democratic   New Komeito   Communist   Social Democratic   Your Party   Others incl NPN, PNP, NRP and SP   No Party Source: NHK
Graph of the current Cabinet Approval/Disapproval Ratings

Party polling for the 180 proportional seatsedit

Poll source Dates
administered
Undecided or declined
DPJ LDP JRP LF

TPJ
NKP JCP YP SDP
Asahi Shimbun 15–16 November 2012 44% 16% 23% 6% 1% 3% 2% 2% 1%
Yomiuri Shimbun 16–17 November 2012 43% 13% 22% 13%
Asahi Shimbun 17–18 November 2012 46% 15% 23% 16% 4%
Kyodo News 17–18 November 2012 43% 108% 23%
Yomiuri Shimbun 23–25 November 2012 10% 25% 14% 2% 6% 2%
Kyodo News 1 24–25 November 2012 45% 84% 187% 103% 2% 4% 3%
Asahi Shimbun 24–25 November 2012 41% 13% 23% 9% 2% 4% 3%
Nikkei Business Daily 28 November 2012 13% 23% 15% 5% 4%
Kyodo News 1–2 December 2012 93% 184% 104% 35% 48%
Asahi Shimbun 1–2 December 2012 41% 15% 20% 9% 3% 4% 3% 3% 1%
Yomiuri Shimbun 30 Nov-2 Dec 2012 13% 19% 13% 5% 5%
NHK 7–9 December 2012 10% 21% 11%
Yomiuri Shimbun 7–9 December 2012 12% 29% 11% 3%
Asahi Shimbun 8–9 December 2012 43% 14% 22% 8% 2% 5% 4% 2%
Kyodo News 12–13 December 2012 40% 11% 23% 10%

PM pollingedit

Poll source Dates
administered
Noda
DPJ
Abe
LDP
Ishihara
JRP
Kyodo News 3–4 November 2012 293% 40%
Asahi Shimbun 15–16 November 2012 31% 33%
Yomiuri Shimbun 16–17 November 2012 31% 37%
Kyodo News 17–18 November 2012 321% 35%
Yomiuri Shimbun 23–25 November 2012 19% 29% 22%
Kyodo News 2 24–25 November 2012 30% 339%
Yomiuri Shimbun 30 Nov-2 Dec 2012 21% 28%
NHK 7–9 December 2012 19% 28%
Kyodo News 8–9 December 2012 31% 39%
Kyodo News 12–13 December 2012 29% 34%

Pre-election compositionedit

As of official announcement kōji =deadline for candidate registration, legal campaign start, start of early voting on following day on December 417 – note that the government had lost its majority, already slim at the time of dissolution of the House of Representatives November 16, due to further defections during the positioning of candidates for the election

139 107 1 233
LDP & NKP Other opposition V Incumbent government DPJ & PNP

Resultsedit

Seating after the election
  LDP 294   DPJ/Club of Independents 57   Restoration 54   Kōmeitō 31   YP 18   Tomorrow 9   JCP 8   Independents 5   SDP/Shimin Rengō 2   PNP 1   NPD 1
LDP NKP DPJ JRP YP T
P
J
J
C
P
O
t
h
294 31 57 54 18 9 8 9
325 155
Prospective LDP–NKP Coalition Oppositions and Independents


e  d Summary of the 16 December 2012 Japanese House of Representatives election results18
Alliances and parties Local constituency vote PR block vote Total seats +/−
Votes19  % Seats Votes  % Seats Total  % pre-
election
last
election
   Liberal Democratic Party LDP Jimintō 25,643,309 4301 237 16,624,457 2779 57 294 6125 176 175
New Komeito Party NKP Kōmeitō 885,881 149 9 7,116,474 1190 22 31 646 10 10
Prospective LDP–NKP Coalition 26,529,190 4449 246 23,740,931 3969 79 325 6771 186 185
   Democratic Party DPJ Minshutō 13,598,773 2281 27 9,268,653 1549 30 57 1188 173 251
Restoration Party JRP Ishin no Kai 6,942,353 1164 14 12,262,228 2050 40 54 1125 43
Your Party YP Minna no Tō 2,807,244 471 4 5,245,586 877 14 18 375 10 10
Tomorrow Party TPJ Mirai no Tō 2,992,365 502 2 3,423,915 572 7 9 188 52
Communist Party JCP Kyōsantō 4,700,289 788 0 3,689,159 617 8 8 167 1 1
Social Democratic Party SDP Shakai Minshutō 451,762 076 1 1,420,790 238 1 2 042 3 5
People's New Party PNP Kokumin Shintō 117,185 020 1 70,847 012 0 1 021 2 2
New Party Daichi NPD Shintō Daichi 315,604 053 0 346,848 058 1 1 021 2 0
Happiness Realization Party HRP Kōfuku Jitsugentō 102,634 017 0 216,150 036 0 0 000 0 0
Others 62,697 011 0 134,781 023 0 0 000 0 0
Total opposition parties 32,090,906 5382 49 36,078,957 6031 101 150 3125 180 249
   Independents 1,006,468 169 5 5 104 4 1
Totals 59,626,564 10000% 300 59,819,888 10000% 180 480 10000 1 0
Turnout 5932% 5931% vacant seats
Vote in 300 single-member districts
LDP contesting 288    4301%
DPJ contesting 264    2281%
JRP contesting 151    1164%
JCP contesting 299    788%
TPJ contesting 111    502%
YP contesting 65    471%
NKP contesting 9    149%
SDP contesting 33    076%
NPD contesting 7    053%
PNP contesting 2    020%
NPN contesting 1    011%
HRP contesting 20
& 5 others
   017%
49 independents    169%
300 single-member district seats
LDP    7900%
DPJ    900%
JRP    467%
NKP    300%
YP    133%
TPJ    067%
SDP    033%
PNP    033%
Independents    167%
Vote in 11 multi-member proportional districts/"blocks"
LDP contesting 11    2779%
JRP contesting 11    2050%
DPJ contesting 11    1549%
NKP contesting 11    1190%
YP contesting 11    877%
JCP contesting 11    617%
TPJ contesting 11    572%
SDP contesting 11    238%
NPD contesting 1    058%
HRP contesting 11    036%
NRP contesting 2    022%
PNP contesting 1    012%
180 proportional seats
LDP    3167%
JRP    2222%
DPJ    1667%
NKP    1222%
YP    778%
JCP    444%
TPJ    389%
SDP    056%
NPD    056%
Total 480 lower house seats
LDP    6125%
DPJ    1188%
JRP    1125%
NKP    646%
YP    375%
TPJ    188%
JCP    167%
SDP    042%
NPD    021%
PNP    021%
Independents    104%

Post-electionedit

Overview of resultsedit

As the Liberal Democratic Party LDP won 294 seats and their allies the New Komeito Party won 31 seats, a coalition of the two parties would be able to form a two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives, enabling them to overrule the House of Councillors2021 The significant swing back towards conservative politics was attributed to economic anxieties, including fear of falling behind China20 Despite this landslide victory, Shinzo Abe acknowledged that his party won mainly because of voter antipathy towards the Democratic Party and not due to a resurgence in popularity for the LDP2223

On the other hand, the election was an unmitigated disaster for the Democratic Party of Japan, which lost three-quarters24 of its 230 seats in the lower house to finish with just 57 In addition, seven members of the Cabinet lost their seats, the most ever in an election Naoto Kan, who preceded Noda as prime minister, lost his constituency as well25 Overall, this marked the worst performance by a ruling party in the post-World War II era As a result, Yoshihiko Noda resigned from his post as party president24

The Tomorrow Party of Japan, which formed shortly before the election, consisted mostly of incumbents defecting from the Democratic Party Most of these incumbents were unseated, causing the party to lose 86% of its strength only weeks after forming Both the Japan Restoration Party and Your Party emerged as viable players in the Diet, while the traditional left parties Social Democratic Party and Japanese Communist Party continued to decline in strength and relevance

The voter turnout of 593% was the lowest since the Second World War24

Reactions and analysisedit

The Liberal Democratic Party had campaigned on a tough stance on the Senkaku Islands dispute, leading to speculation as to how the new government would deal with the issue21 Abe made his party's position clear immediately following the election, stating that their "objective is to stop the challenge" from China with regards to ownership of the islands26 The re-election of the liberal conservative LDP has raised concern in foreign media that Japan's relations with its neighbours — China and South Korea — will become strained, given the past visits to the Yasukuni Shrine by LDP prime ministers, the party's perceived de-emphasization of Japan's war crimes committed during the Second World War and their intention to amend the country's pacifist constitution to give more power to the Self-Defense Forces272829 Abe is also in favour of retaining nuclear energy in the country20

In response to the election, the Nikkei 225 Index increased by 1%, while the yen fell to ¥8448 against the US dollar, the lowest rate in 20 months30 Furthermore, the yield on 20-year Japanese government bonds JCBs rose to 1710% a day after the election This marked its highest level in nearly eight months31

United States President Barack Obama spoke to Abe by telephone to congratulate him on the results of the general election, and discussed ongoing efforts to enhance bilateral security cooperation as well as deepening economic ties32

Voiding of electionedit

On March 25, 2013 the Hiroshima High Court ruled the election unconstitutional and the results void due to "the disparity in the value of one vote", which was up to 243 time the maximum constitutionally allowed disparity in some districts3334 The decision is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court,35 and, if it's upheld, new elections must be held The Supreme Court had previously ruled that the electoral system was unconstitutional without invalidating election results35 Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said that government would give electoral reform new thought and examine the situation carefully in order to respond in the appropriate manner34

See alsoedit

  • List of Districts of the House of Representatives of Japan

Referencesedit

  1. ^ "Okada eyes Jan dissolution of lower house" Yomiuri Shimbun Jiji Press 30 July 2012 Retrieved 14 November 2012 
  2. ^ Harlan, Chico 18 August 2012 "In Japan, new taxes levy political toll on Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda" The Washington Post Retrieved 20 August 2012 
  3. ^ http://wwwstatgojp/english/data/handbook/c04conthtm
  4. ^ http://wwwnbrorg/research/activityaspxid=178
  5. ^ Time 6 April 2011 http://businesstimecom/2011/04/06/a-hard-look-at-japans-debt-problem/  Missing or empty |title= help
  6. ^ http://ajwasahicom/article/economy/business/AJ201205110051
  7. ^ "Japan's Debt Sustains a Deflationary Depression" Bloomberg 
  8. ^ http://ajwasahicom/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201212250101
  9. ^ http://wwwmansfieldfdnorg/backup/polls/pdf/martin_commentarypdf
  10. ^ "Japan's 'third pole" Japantimescojp 2012-11-16 Retrieved 2012-12-20 
  11. ^ "New political party to be named 'Tachiagare Nippon' Stand up Japan"dead link
  12. ^ Japan Today/Associated Press, "Ishihara, Hashimoto announce 'third force' in Japanese politics", Japan Today, 18 November 2012
  13. ^ Johnston, Eric, "Nippon Ishin no Kai: Local but with national outlook", Japan Times, 3 October 2012, p 3
  14. ^ "New Kawamura-led party joins election fray" Yomiuri Shimbun 24 November 2012 Retrieved 28 November 2012 
  15. ^ "Shiga's Kada readies party; Ozawa joins" Japantimescojp 2012-11-28 Retrieved 2012-12-20 
  16. ^ "2 Parties Merge With Japan Future" Ajwasahicom Retrieved 2012-12-20 
  17. ^ Yomiuri Shimbun: House of Representatives election 2012
  18. ^ General election results final Yomiuri Shimbun 17 December 2012
  19. ^ Decimals from fractional votes ambunhyō rounded to full numbers
  20. ^ a b c Nagano, Yuriko; Demick, Barbara 16 December 2012 "Japan conservatives win landslide election victory" Los Angeles Times Retrieved 16 December 2012 
  21. ^ a b "Japan election: LDP's Shinzo Abe vows tough China line" BBC 16 December 2012 Retrieved 16 December 2012 
  22. ^ Fackler, Martin 16 December 2012 "Japan Election Returns Power to Old Guard" The New York Times Retrieved 17 December 2012 
  23. ^ Yoshida, Reiji 17 December 2012 "LDP aware voters just punished DPJ" Japan Times Retrieved 17 December 2012 
  24. ^ a b c Brinsley, John; Reynolds, Isabel 17 December 2012 "Two-Party Japan Democracy Undone in 39 Months as DPJ Falls" Bloomberg Retrieved 17 December 2012 
  25. ^ "LDP flattens DPJ in bruising return to power" Japan Times 17 December 2012 Retrieved 17 December 2012 
  26. ^ Ryall, Julian; Irvine, Chris 16 December 2012 "Japan election winner fires early warning to China" The Daily Telegraph London Retrieved 17 December 2012 
  27. ^ "‘The Senkaku islands are our territory’: Japanese nationalists return to power in a landslide victory" National Post Associated Press 16 December 2012 Retrieved 18 December 2012 
  28. ^ Dickie, Mure 16 December 2012 "Rightwing revival raises regional dilemmas" Financial Times Retrieved 18 December 2012  subscription required
  29. ^ Nakamoto, Michiyo; Dickie, Mure; Soble, Jonathan 16 December 2012 "LDP crushes rivals in Japanese poll" Financial Times Retrieved 18 December 2012  subscription required
  30. ^ "Japan elections: Shares rise and yen weakens on Abe win" BBC News 17 December 2012 Retrieved 17 December 2012 
  31. ^ "JGB 20-year yield hits 8-month high after Japan election" Reuters 16 December 2012 Retrieved 17 December 2012 
  32. ^ "Readout of the President’s Call with Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe of Japan" Whitehousegov 2012-12-17 Retrieved 2012-12-18 
  33. ^ Yomiuri: Court rules lower house poll invalid / Vote disparity in Hiroshima 'too wide' english
  34. ^ a b The Mainichi: Hiroshima court rules Dec election invalid over vote disparity english
  35. ^ a b The Wall Street Journal | Hiroshima Court Rules Election Invalid

External linksedit

  • Election results NHK World
  • Detailed results Yomiuri Shimbun Japanese


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