Japan voting public wants LDP tough on defense, China

Japan is holding an election for the Diet Lower House (think: US House of Representatives) on October 31.  Japanese elections rarely result in drastic change – and this one probably won’t either. What’s likely to happen? The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will lose some seats, but it will retain a majority – either in its own right or with Komeito, its coalition partner’s seats added in.  That’s an easy prediction.

Given the near-certainty of the LDP retaining power, even if by a diminished margin, the issues many foreign observers are watching are the Kishida administration’s stance on key defense and foreign policy issues, including the US-Japan alliance, Japan’s overall national defense strategy, policy toward the People’s Republic of China, and Japan’s stance on Taiwan.

One-party rule, but …

Since its founding in 1955, the LDP has governed Japan almost without interruption – except for two brief periods in 1993-1994 and 2009-2012 when left-leaning opposition parties prevailed.

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