Tokyo elections: The strange farce of LDP versus LDP via another name

Tokyo elections: The strange farce of LDP versus LDP via another name

Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Local elections in Tokyo are being held for the metropolitan assembly today. Yet the political farce continues, whereby the two main parties in Tokyo are all but the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Irrespective of alleged differences that are meant to cover the sham based on having different political names.

If it looks like a duck, it is a duck. Hence, the alleged view into the window of the Japanese electorate concerning the next major election doesn’t exist in this election. After all, the ruling LDP’s main concern is the Tomin First no Kai (Tokyoites First), which happens to be a political party formed by the current Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.

If you don’t understand the significance of this, then Koike in the past ran to become the leader of the LDP. Indeed, she was the Defense Minister under the former leader Shinzo Abe. In turn, Abe is a close friend of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who also seeks to maintain the path of Abe’s policies in many areas. Therefore, it is LDP versus LDP but with the Japanese political slant of alleged competition.

Koike is known to still hold political ambitions of high office. If so, then this will only happen under the LDP and not under any other political movement.

Thus the real interest of the local election is how the main national opposition parties perform. This notably applies to the Constitutional Democratic Party (CDP).

The current political make-up of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly that consists of 127 seats are Tomin First no Kai 45 (formed by former LDP), LDP 25, Komeito 23 (an ally of the LDP), the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 18, and others including the CDP with 7 seats.

Concerning the Olympics, Suga and the Tokyo Governor Koike both support them being held. Hence, only a strong showing for the CDP or JCP would indicate that the LDP monopoly is under political threat. This concerns the disenchantment of many people with the ruling elites and their collective handling of the coronavirus crisis.

It should be stated that in Japan, the ruling LDP nationally usually holds power apart from a few blips. Ironically, one blip was losing to a party that had many former LDP members. Therefore, nothing to get too excited about in the Tokyo election today unless the CDP and JCP do exceptionally well.

Koike will remain in power whatever the outcome because she was re-elected the Tokyo Governor last year.

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