Clashes, Crises and Confusion: Japanese Politics at a Crossroads

Asia Paper February 1, 2010, pp. 91

The general election in Japan on August 30 resulted in a new coalition government formed by three former opposition parties. Focusing both on the short-term task of compil¬ing the national budget, and on the long-term task of reforming the political decision-making system, Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio was soon to realize that his party’s ambitions to institute “real reforms” was an evasive goal. The rigidities and restrictions the new government is encountering are formidable and the prospects of success are unsure, notwithstanding that the mandate handed to the new government is strong.