As the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) won Japan’s general election yesterday, giving it control of the Lower House, the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) came to realize how badly it was defeated. Several key members of the party lost in their single-seat constituencies, and even though Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda won re-election in his Chiba area, he announced he will still step down as leader of the party in order to accept responsibility.
DPJ Secretary General Azuma Koshiishi stated on national TV on Sunday evening that the party must accept the people’s decision to return to the LDP. He added that this is a clear sign the people of Japan are unhappy with the DPJ and their current status, and they must begin to rebuild and rethink their goals. Prime Minister Noda stated that he was taking the results of the election very seriously, and was sorry for not producing results. As Koshiishi was in charge of the DPJ’s re-election campaign, he said that he would also resign from his position of the party’s number two.
The DPJ lawmakers recognized that the public’s dissatisfaction was tied to the party’s inability to follow through on the pledges it made to win power in 2009. That victory was the first election to unseat the LDP from its more than 50 years of unending rule, as the people of Japan were eager for true change in the country’s bureaucracy. The DPJ has been seen splitting apart in recent months, from a large defection in the summer over a controversial tax hike, to internal disagreement over the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.