Government of Japan
The government of Japan is a constitutional monarchy in which the power of the Emperor is limited and is relegated to ceremonial duties. As in many other states, the Government is divided into three branches: the Legislative branch, the Executive branch, the Judicial branch; the Government runs under the framework established by the Constitution of Japan, adopted in 1947. It is a unitary state, containing forty-seven administrative divisions, with the Emperor as its head of state, his role is ceremonial and he has no powers related to Government. Instead, it is the Cabinet, comprising the Ministers of State and the Prime Minister, that directs and controls the Government; the Cabinet is the source of power of the Executive branch, is formed by the Prime Minister, the head of government. He or she is appointed to office by the Emperor; the National Diet is the organ of the Legislative branch. It is bicameral, consisting of two houses with the House of Councillors being the upper house, the House of Representatives being the lower house.
Its members are directly elected from the people. The Supreme Court and other inferior courts make up the Judicial branch, they are independent from the executive and the legislative branches. Prior to the Meiji Restoration, Japan was ruled by successive military shōguns. During this period, effective power of the government resided in the Shōgun, who ruled the country in the name of the Emperor; the Shoguns were the hereditary military governors, with their modern rank equivalent to a generalissimo. Although the Emperor was the sovereign who appointed the Shōgun, his roles were ceremonial and he took no part in governing the country; this is compared to the present role of the Emperor, whose official role is to appoint the Prime Minister. The Meiji Restoration in 1868 led to the resignation of Shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu, agreeing to "be the instrument for carrying out" the Emperor's orders; this event restored the country to the proclamation of the Empire of Japan. In 1889, the Meiji Constitution was adopted in a move to strengthen Japan to the level of western nations, resulting in the first parliamentary system in Asia.
It provided a form of mixed constitutional-absolute monarchy, with an independent judiciary, based on the Prussian model of the time. A new aristocracy known as the kazoku was established, it merged the ancient court nobility of the Heian period, the kuge, the former daimyōs, feudal lords subordinate to the shōgun. It established the Imperial Diet, consisting of the House of Representatives and the House of Peers. Members of the House of Peers were made up of the Imperial Family, the Kazoku, those nominated by the Emperor, while members of the House of Representatives were elected by direct male suffrage. Despite clear distinctions between powers of the executive branch and the Emperor in the Meiji Constitution and contradictions in the Constitution led to a political crisis, it devalued the notion of civilian control over the military, which meant that the military could develop and exercise a great influence on politics. Following the end of World War II, the Constitution of Japan was adopted as an intention to replace the previous Imperial rule with a form of Western-style liberal democracy.
The Emperor of Japan is the ceremonial head of state. He is defined by the Constitution to be "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people". However, he is not the nominal Chief Executive and he possesses only certain ceremonially important powers, he has no real powers related to the Government as stated in article 4 of the Constitution. Article 6 of the Constitution of Japan delegates the Emperor the following ceremonial roles: Appointment of the Prime Minister as designated by the Diet. Appointment of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as designated by the Cabinet. While the Cabinet is the source of executive power and most of its power is exercised directly by the Prime Minister, several of its powers are exercised by the Emperor; the powers exercised via the Emperor, as stipulated by Article 7 of the Constitution, are: Promulgation of amendments of the constitution, cabinet orders and treaties. Convocation of the Diet. Dissolution of the House of Representatives. Proclamation of general election of members of the Diet.
Attestation of the appointment and dismissal of Ministers of State and other officials as provided for by law, of full powers and credentials of Ambassadors and Ministers. Attestation of general and special amnesty, commutation of punishment and restoration of rights. Awarding of honors. Attestation of instruments of ratification and other diplomatic documents as provided for by law. Receiving foreign ambassadors and ministers. Performance of ceremonial functions; the Emperor is known to hold the nominal ceremonial authority. For example, the Emperor is the only person that has the authority to appoint the Prime Minister though the Diet has the power to designate the person fitted for the position. One such example can be prominently seen in the 2009 Dissolution of the House of Representatives; the House was expected to be dissolved on the advice of the Prime Minister, but was temporarily unable to do so for the next general election, as both the Emperor and Empress were visiting Canada. In this manner, the Emperor's modern role is compared to those of the Shogunate period and much of Japan's history, whereby the Emperor held great symbolic authority but had little political power.
Today, a legacy has somewhat continued for a retired Prime Minister who still wields considerabl
Fumihito, Prince Akishino
Fumihito, Prince Akishino is a member of the Japanese imperial family. He is the younger son of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko and second in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne after his elder brother Crown Prince Naruhito. Since his marriage in June 1990, he has held the title of Akishino-no-miya and headed his own branch of the imperial family; the prince was born on 30 November 1965 at the Imperial Household Agency Hospital, Tokyo Imperial Palace in Tokyo. His given name is Fumihito, his mother, Empress Michiko, is a convert to Shinto from Roman Catholicism. His childhood appellation was Prince Aya, he attended the secondary schools of the Gakushuin. He played tennis in secondary schools of the Gakushuin. In April 1984, he entered the Law Department of Gakushuin University, where he studied law and biological science. After graduating from the university with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science, he studied the taxonomy of fish at St John's College, Oxford in the United Kingdom from October 1988 to June 1990.
Upon the death of his grandfather, Emperor Shōwa, in 7 January 1989, he became second-in-line to the throne after his elder brother, Crown Prince Naruhito. Prince Fumihito received a PhD degree in ornithology from the Graduate University for Advanced Studies in October 1996, his doctoral dissertation was titled, "Molecular Phylogeny of Jungle Fowls, genus Gallus and Monophyletic Origin of Domestic Fowls". He conducted field research in Indonesia in 1993 and 1994, in Yunnan Province in the People's Republic of China; when the current Emperor was still Crown Prince, he introduced tilapia to Thailand as an important source of protein. Tilapia can be cultured and Prince Fumihito, known as "catfish specialist," has managed to maintain and expand the aquacultural studies with the people of Thailand. Prior to Fumihito's birth, the announcement about the then-Crown Prince Akihito's engagement and marriage to the then-Ms. Michiko Shōda had drawn opposition from traditionalist groups, because Shōda came from a Roman Catholic family.
Although Shōda was never baptized, she was educated in Catholic schools and seemed to share the faith of her parents. Rumors speculated that Empress Kōjun had opposed the engagement. After the death of Fumihito's paternal grandmother Empress Kōjun in 2000, Reuters reported that she was one of the strongest opponents of her son's marriage, that in the 1960s, she had driven her daughter-in-law and grandchildren to depression by persistently accusing her of not being suitable for her son. On 29 June 1990, Prince Fumihito married Kiko Kawashima, the daughter of Tatsuhiko Kawashima and his wife, Kazuyo; the couple met. Like his father, the present Emperor, the Prince married outside the former aristocracy and former collateral branches of the imperial family. Upon marriage, he received the title Prince Akishino and authorization from the Imperial Household Economy Council to form a new branch of the Imperial Family; the marriage was bitterly resented by officials at the Imperial Household Agency, as well as Prince Akishino's paternal-grandmother Empress Dowager Nagako.
Prince and Princess Akishino have two daughters and one son: Princess Mako Princess Kako Prince Hisahito Prince Akishino serves as the president of the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology and the Japanese Association of Zoological Gardens and Aquariums. He is the honorary president of the World Wide Fund for Nature Japan, the Japan Tennis Association, the Japan-Netherlands Association, he is a visiting professor of Tokyo University of Agriculture. Prince and Princess Akishino foster friendly relations with foreign countries by representing Japan at select international events. For example, they traveled to the Netherlands in August 2009 to commemorate 400 years of trade between the Netherlands and Japan, they were hosted by Queen Beatrix in The Hague. Their public activities included meeting Japanese language students, visiting the Siebold House, a university hospital, two other museums. At the Dutch National Archives, they attended the opening of a major exhibition of Japan-related material, "From Here to Tokyo, 400 Years of Trade with Japan".
In addition, this official visit included talks with the Dutch prime minister. On other occasion, they traveled to Hungary in March 2007. In addition, Prince Akishino carried out public duties on behalf of the Emperor when he was hospitalized, he and other members of the imperial family visited the affected areas after the Great East Japan earthquake in March 2011. As legislation has been passed allowing his father's abdication, he is expected to become heir-presumptive to the throne on 30 April 2019. Prince Akishino is a big fan of an avid tennis player; as a student, Fumihito ranked among the top ten doubles tennis players in the Kantō Region. He is known as a successor to Arisugawa school of calligraphy. 30 November 1965 – 29 June 1990: His Imperial Highness The Prince Aya 29 June 1990 – present: His Imperial Highness The Prince Akishino Japan: Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum Belgium: Grand Cros
2017 Japanese general election
The 48th general election of members of the House of Representatives took place on 22 October 2017. Voting took place in all Representatives constituencies of Japan – 289 single-member districts and eleven proportional blocks – in order to appoint all 465 members of the House of Representatives, the lower house of the 707-member bicameral National Diet of Japan. Incumbent Prime Minister Shinzō Abe's governing coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito retained their seats in light of what was perceived as weak opposition, winning his fourth term in office and holding on to the two-thirds supermajority in order to revise the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution; the snap election was called in the midst of the North Korea missile threat and with the largest opposition party, the Democratic Party, in disarray. Just hours before Abe's announcement of the snap election on 25 September, Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike launched a new conservative reformist party Kibō no Tō, the Party of Hope, seen as a viable alternative to the ruling coalition.
It soon led to the dissolution of the Democratic Party and its party members defecting to the Kibō no Tō. However, the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, whose members Koike refused to nominate, formed the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan led by Yukio Edano, splitting the opposition in half; the election turned into a three-way contest as the CDP joined with the Japanese Communist Party and Social Democratic Party on a common platform opposing the constitutional revision. While Kibō no Tō fell short of expectation, the CDP surged in the polls in the last days before the election and beat Kibō no Tō to emerge as first among the opposition parties. Despite being disrupted by Typhoon Lan, the election saw a slight increase in turnout rate of 53.68 percent but still was the second lowest in postwar Japan. The lowest turnout was recorded in 2014, it was the first election after the voting age was lowered from 20 to 18. Abe became the first Prime Minister to win three consecutive general elections since 1953 and the first LDP leader to do that.
He is set to be the longest serving Prime Minister if he finishes his full term of four years. The House of Representatives has a fixed term of four years. Under the postwar constitution drafted in 1947, the interpretation of Article 7 states that the cabinet may instruct the Emperor to dissolve the House of Representatives before the end of term at will. Elections must be held within 40 days after dissolution. In June 2015, the Public Office Election Law was amended to lower the voting age from 20 to 18 years of age; as of June 2015, the largest opposition party Democratic Party of Japan was preparing a roster of up to 250 candidates so as to be prepared in the event that the next general election was to be held alongside the House of Councillors election in the summer of 2016, before it merged with the Japan Innovation Party to form the Democratic Party in March 2016. The Democratic Party suffered a considerable defeat at the hands of the ruling coalition in the election, in which the Abe government took two-thirds of the seats.
In January 2017, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike established a new local party, Tomin First, to challenge the establishment Liberal Democratic Party in the Tokyo metropolitan election to be held in July. Tomin First won a resounding victory in the election, which came in the wake of the Moritomo Gakuen and Kake Gakuen scandals calling into question the propriety of the Abe government's decision making. After the election, Defense Minister Tomomi Inada resigned in connection with another scandal involving the Japan Self-Defense Forces concealing evidence of a battle in South Sudan. Meanwhile, the main national opposition Democratic Party was hurt by the resignation of its leader Renho in July, as well as several high-profile defections; the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe began publicly discussing the possibility of an election in mid-September 2017, as the North Korea crisis was ongoing. Continuing the momentum of her Tokyo election victory, Koike announced the formation of a new national political party, Kibō no Tō, on 25 September.
Abe called the general election just hours on the same day. Soon after the Party of Hope was established, Democratic Party leader Seiji Maehara sought to merge with Kibō no Tō. Maehara's decision was criticised by the liberal wing of the party, whose candidacies were rejected by Koike; the liberal wing surrounding the deputy president Yukio Edano announced the formation of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan on 2 October 2017. Opposition politicians claim Abe called the election to evade further questioning in parliament over his alleged misuse of power in securing approval for a veterinary college campus in Imabari. One wedge issue between the two major coalitions is the scheduled consumption tax hike in October 2019; the LDP coalition advocates keeping the tax hike and using the funds for child care and education, while the Kibo coalition advocates freezing the tax hike. Nonetheless, Koike stated on 8 October that she was open to the option of a grand coalition with the LDP; the LDP fielded 332 candidates, while Komeito fielded 53, Kibō no Tō fielded 235, Nippon Ishin fielded 52.
The Constitutional Democratic Party, Japanese Communist Party and Social Democratic Party joined forces to support a total number of 342 candidates on the common platform of opposing the revision the pacifist Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan and the new national security legislation. Several U. S.-Japan policy experts, including James Zumwalt and Michael Green, opined in October that the election was unlikely to have a major impact o
2007 Japanese House of Councillors election
The 21st Elections to the House of Councillors for the upper house of the legislature of Japan were held on July 29, 2007. The date was to be July 22, but the ruling Liberal Democratic Party decided in mid-June to extend the session of the House for a week to finish up legislative business; the House of Councillors consists of 242 members. Half the members are elected every three years; the last election took place in 2004 when Abe's predecessor, was in office. The house ended its 166th session on July 2007, marking the unofficial beginning of campaign; the official campaign began on July 12. The ruling coalition of Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito lost control, creating the first divided Diet since 1999; the LDP became the second party for the first time, while the DPJ became first party for the first time. The DPJ had 79 seats after the 2004 Upper House elections, winning 50 out of the 121 up for election, gaining 12, compared to the LDP's 49; as of February 17, 2007, the DPJ held 82 seats to the LDP's 111.
Ichirō Ozawa, the leader of the DPJ, addressed a workers' May Day rally in Yoyogi Park on April 28, 2007 setting out the party's agenda for the election. He pledged that the key policy areas would be an end to'self-righteous' government and medical reforms, that the DPJ would'stand in the shoes of workers and taxpayers'. Reports throughout 2007 showed Shinzō Abe's approval ratings falling, public support for the DPJ's position on the recent pension scandal. Several other scandals right up until the start of official campaigning did not improve the outlook for the LDP. Loss of records for millions of payments in the national pension system. Series of gaffes by cabinet members, the Minister of Health and Welfare Hakuo Yanagisawa and the Minister of Defense Fumio Kyuma, who resigned. Financial scandals of two Ministers of Agriculture, Toshikatsu Matsuoka, who committed suicide, his successor Norihiko Akagi, who resigned after the election. According to results by NHK, the LDP lost its majority in the Upper House.
Meanwhile, the DPJ managed to gain the largest margin since its formation in 1996. LDP's coalition partner New Komeito lost 3 of its twelve seats. Although the opposition made it clear that they intended to ask for Abe's resignation, he vowed to "continue pitching" for leadership. Most of the candidates who received international coverage were defeated in the elections - including Alberto Fujimori, Kaori Tahara, Kanako Otsuji, Yoshiro Nakamatsu, Yuko Tojo. Notable candidates who were elected included iconoclastic former Nagano governor Yasuo Tanaka, who achieved one seat for his own New Party Nippon, ethnic Finn Marutei Tsurunen, re-elected with the sixth-highest vote count on the DPJ party list; the election resulted in the removal of numerous LDP councillors representing doctors, the construction industry and other special interest groups. Such individuals had been elected by the votes of members of their own industries. Source: Elected candidates in bold Notes: All incumbents not running for re-election in their prefectural electoral district are counted as retirements if they ran in the nationwide proportional representation.
In a multi-member district, there is no difference between Councillors elected with the highest and lower vote shares. Yet, "top tōsen", i.e. being elected with the highest vote, is considered a special achievement and thus noted where changed from the previous election for the same class of Councillors. Akita, Toyama and Miyazaki are counted as a DPJ/PNP pickups because the elected Councillors joined the DPJ/PNP parliamentary group shortly after the election. Gifu is counted as a LDP hold because the elected Councillor re-joined the LDP shortly after the election. In Kanagawa, the LDP's Yutaka Kobayashi was disqualified for violating the law on elections for public office; because the seat fell vacant within three months of the regular election fourth ranking Akira Matsu was elected without vote. Source
Imperial Household Agency
The Imperial Household Agency is an agency of the government of Japan in charge of state matters concerning the Imperial Family, keeping of the Privy Seal and State Seal of Japan. From around the 8th century AD up to the Second World War, it was named the Imperial Household Ministry; the agency is unique among conventional government agencies and ministries, in that it does not directly report to the Prime Minister at the cabinet level, nor is it affected by legislation that establishes it as an Independent Administrative Institution. The Agency is headed by the Grand Steward and he is assisted by the Vice-Grand Steward; the main elements of the organization are: the Grand Steward's Secretariat the Board of Chamberlains the Crown Prince's Household the Board of Ceremonies the Archives and Mausolea Department the Maintenance and Works Department the Kyoto OfficeThe current Grand Steward is Shin'ichirō Yamamoto. The Agency's headquarters is located within the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
The Agency's duties and responsibilities encompass the daily activities, such as state visits, organising events, preservation of traditional culture, administrative functions, etc. the agency is responsible for the various imperial residences scattered throughout the country. Visitors who wish to tour the Tokyo Imperial Palace, the Kyoto Imperial Palace, the Katsura Detached Palace, other sites, should register for guided tours with the agency first; the Agency has responsibility for the health and travel arrangements of the Imperial family, including maintaining the Imperial line. The Board of the Chamberlains, headed by the Grand Chamberlain, manages the daily life of the Emperor and the Empress, it keeps the Privy Seal and State Seal of Japan. A "Grand Master of the Board of the Crown Prince's Household" helps manage the schedules, dining menus, household maintenance of the Crown Prince and his family; the Imperial Household Agency can trace its origins back to the institutions established by the Taihō Code promulgated in 701–702 AD.
The Ritsuryō system established the namesake Ministry of the Imperial Household, a precursor to the present agency. The old code gave rise to the Ministry of Ceremonial which has its legacy in the Board of Ceremonies under the current agency, the Ministry of Civil Administration which oversaw the Bureau of Music that would now correspond to the Agency's Music Department; the basic structures remained in place until the Meiji Restoration. The early Meiji government installed Imperial Household Ministry on 15 August 1869. However, there is a convoluted history of reorganization around how the government bodies that correspond to constituent subdivisions of the current Agency were formed or empowered during this period; the Department of Shinto Affairs and the Ministry of Shinto Affairs were in existence and placed in charge of, e.g. the Imperial mausolea under the Office of Imperial Mausolea, one of the tasks designated to the Agency today. Meanwhile, the Meiji government created the Board of Ceremonies in 1871, soon renamed Bureau of Ceremonies in 1872.
And by 1872 the Ministry of Shinto Affairs was abolished, with the bulk of duties moved to the Kyōbu shō and the administration of formal ceremonial functions transferred to the aforementioned Board/Bureau of the Ceremonies. The Bureau of the Ceremonies was under the sway of the Great Council of State but was transferred to the control of the Imperial Household Ministry in September 1877; the Bureau underwent yet another name change to Board of Ceremonies in October 1884. Since the name remained unchanged and is, headed by the Master of Ceremonies. An Imperial Order in 1908 confirmed that the Imperial Household Minister, as the chief official was called, was responsible for assisting the Emperor in all matters concerning the Imperial House; the ministry oversaw the official appointments of Imperial Household Artists and commissioned their work. The Imperial Household Office was a downgraded version of the ministry, created pursuant to Imperial Household Office Law Law No. 70 of 1947 during the American Occupation of Japan.
Its staff size was downscaled from 6,200 to less than 1,500, the Office was placed under the Prime Minister of Japan. In 1949, Imperial Household Office became the Imperial Household Agency, placed under the fold of the newly created Prime Minister's Office, as an external agency attached to it. In 2001, the Imperial Household Agency was organizationally re-positioned under the Cabinet Office; the Agency has been criticized for isolating members of the Imperial Family from the Japanese public, for insisting on hidebound customs rather than permitting a more approachable, populist monarchy. These criticisms have become more muted in recent years. Prince Naruhito, in May 2004, criticised the then-Grand Steward of the Imperial Household, Toshio Yuasa, for putting pressure on Princess Masako, Naruhito's wife, to bear a male child. At a press conference, Naruhito said that his wife had "completely exhausted herself" trying to adapt to the imperial family's life, added "there were developments that denied Masako's career as well as her personality."
It has been stat
2016 Japanese House of Councillors election
The 24th regular election of members of the House of Councillors was held on Sunday 10 July 2016 to elect 121 of the 242 members of the House of Councillors, the upper house of the 717-member bicameral National Diet of Japan, for a term of six years. As a result of the election, the LDP/Komeito coalition gained ten seats for a total of 146, the largest coalition achieved since the size of the house was set at 242 seats.76 members were elected by single non-transferable vote and first-past-the-post voting in 45 multi- and single-member prefectural electoral districts. This change and several other reapportionments were part of an electoral reform law passed by the Diet in July 2015 designed to reduce the maximum ratio of malapportionment in the House of Councillors below 3; the nationwide district which elects 48 members by D'Hondt proportional representation with most open lists remained unchanged. This election was the first national election since the 2015 change to the Public Offices Election Act allowed minors from 18 years of age to vote in national and municipal elections and in referendums.
The term of members elected in the 2010 regular election ends on July 25, 2016. Under the "Public Offices Election Act", the regular election must be held within 30 days before that date, or under certain conditions if the Diet is in session or scheduled to open at that time, between 24 and 30 days after the closure of the session and thus somewhat after the actual end of term; the election date was July 10 with the deadline for nominations and the start of legal campaigning 18 days before the election. Prior to the election, the Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito controlled a two-thirds super-majority of seats in the House of Representatives but did not control a similar super-majority of seats in the House of Councillors, necessary to initiate amendments of the Constitution of Japan. In order to deny a super-majority to the LDP and other pro-amendment parties, the parties opposed to amending the constitution agreed to field a single candidate in each single-seat district, leading to a number of one-on-one races between the LDP and an opposition candidate.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a vocal proponent of constitutional revision avoided discussing the constitution during the campaign, instead focusing on his "Abenomics" economic policies. On the eve of the election, Gerald Curtis described the race as "one of the dullest in recent memory," pointing out that "never in Japan's postwar history has the political opposition been as enfeebled as it is now... That's why widespread public disappointment with the government's economic policies hasn't hurt Mr. Abe politically; the prevailing sentiment is that he has done better than his predecessors, replacing him with another LDP leader, let alone an opposition coalition government, would only make matters worse—especially now that the global economy is in turmoil." As of the official announcement on 22 June: In the class of members facing re-election, the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Kōmeitō had a combined 60 of 121 seats short of a majority. The main opposition Democratic Party held 47 seats.
As the coalition held 77 seats not being contested at this election, they only needed to retain 44 seats in the election to maintain their majority in the House. The LDP, which held 117 seats alone, had to gain five seats to reach a majority of its own and make the coalition with Kōmeitō unnecessary. In the other direction, the governing coalition would have to lose 16 seats or more to forfeit its overall majority in the House of Councillors and face a technically divided Diet. However, as independents and minor opposition groups might be willing to support the government on a regular basis without inclusion in the cabinet, the losses required to face an actual divided Diet may have been much higher. If the Diet were divided after the election, the coalition's two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives could still override the House of Councillors and pass legislation, but certain Diet decisions, notably the approval of certain nominations by the cabinet such as public safety commission members or Bank of Japan governor, would require the cooperation of at least part of the opposition or an expansion of the ruling coalition.
Among the members facing re-election were House of Councillors President Masaaki Yamazaki, Vice President Azuma Koshiishi, Justice Minister Mitsuhide Iwaki and Okinawa and Science Minister Aiko Shimajiri. The election gave a two-thirds super-majority in the upper house to the four parties in favor of constitutional revision. After the election, Abe publicly acknowledged that constitutional revision would be "not so easy" and said "I expect the discussion will be deepened." The Chinese government voiced concern about the result, while South Korean newspaper Munhwa Ilbo opined that the election results "opened the door for a Japan that can go to war."Abe announced a major economic stimulus package following the election, leading to a spike in the Japanese stock markets. The following districts saw a change in their representation within the House at this election
2009 Japanese general election
A general election for the Japanese House of Representatives was held on August 30, 2009. The opposition Democratic Party defeated the ruling coalition in a sweeping victory, winning 221 of the 300 electoral districts and receiving 42.4% of the proportional block votes for another 87 seats, a total of 308 seats to only 119 for the LDP. Under Japan's constitution, this result assured DPJ leader Yukio Hatoyama would be the next Prime Minister of Japan, he was formally named to the post on September 16, 2009. Prime Minister Tarō Asō conceded late on the night of August 30, 2009, that the LDP had lost control of the government, announced his resignation as party president. A leadership election was held on September 28, 2009; the 2009 election was the first time since World War II that voters mandated a change in control of the government to an opposition political party. It marked the worst defeat for a governing party in modern Japanese history, was only the second time the LDP lost a general election since its formation in 1955, was the first time that the LDP lost its status as the largest party in the lower house.
The last general election took place in 2005 in which the LDP, led by popular prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, received 38.2% of the proportional block votes and 47.8% of the district votes cast. Due to the characteristics of the Japanese election system, the LDP ended up with 296 seats in the Lower House, which enabled Koizumi to complete the privatization of Japan Post. Since Japan has had three further prime ministers who have come to power without there being a general election. On September 1, 2008, Yasuo Fukuda abruptly announced. Taro Aso won the subsequent LDP leadership election, held on September 22, 2008. Media sources speculated that, in the wake of a recent change in leadership, Prime Minister Taro Aso might call elections in late October or early November 2008 while his popularity was still high,There were expectations that the steady decline and numerous scandals of the LDP might lead to the complete extinction of the party and the creation of a new political system, with actual ideologically coherent parties emerging instead of the current system of a shared interest in power with stark ideological differences.
In late June 2009, there were rumours of a planned election date in early August 2009. In prefectural elections in Tokyo, the LDP again lost a lot of seats and was for the first time since 1965 not the largest party in the prefectural assembly; the next day, Aso confirmed these rumours by calling for an election on August 30, 2009. As soon as the election was called, a campaign was underway by a group of LDP Diet Members to replace Aso as leader. One-third of the parliamentary party were reported to have signed a petition calling for an urgent party meeting to discuss the issue; the BBC reported LDP critics of Aso asserting that an election with him still as leader would be "political suicide". Prime Minister Aso dissolved the House of Representatives on July 21, 2009; the official campaign started on August 18, 2009. Former LDP minister Yoshimi Watanabe announced the foundation of a new party, Your Party, on August 8, 2009; the DPJ's policy platforms include: a restructuring of civil service. The LDP's policy platforms are similar to the DPJ's.
A New York Times article on August 28, 2009 noted. Before the dissolution of the lower house, National weekly magazines had been citing analysts predicting a big loss for the ruling coalition which held two-thirds of the seats in the House of Representatives; some warned. Many based their predictions on the low approval rating of the Prime Minister Taro Aso and the devastating loss that the LDP suffered in the earlier prefectural election in Tokyo. On August 20 and 21, 2009, Asahi Shimbun and Yomiuri Shimbun, leading national newspapers, Nikkei Shimbun, a financial daily, reported that the DPJ was poised to win over 300 of the 480 contested seats. On August 22, 2009, Mainichi Shimbun went further to predict that the DPJ could win over 320 seats, meaning all DPJ candidates would win. Mainichi noted that the DPJ appeared to be doing well in the western part of Japan, a traditional stronghold of the LDP, that the LDP could lose all of its single-member constituency seats in 15 prefectures, including Hokkaidō, Saitama.
According to Mainichi, the Japanese Communist Party will retain its previous 9 seats, while the Komeito Party and the Social Democratic Party may lose some of their shares. According to a poll conducted on August 22, 2009 by the Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan's largest newspaper, 40 percent said they would vote for the DPJ, while 24 percent for the LDP; the DPJ swept the LDP from power in a massive landslide, winning 308 seats, while the LDP won only 119 seats - the worst defeat for a sitting government in modern Japanese history. This was in marked con