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Ellis Krauss on the Prospects of a Two-Party System in Japan

Two-Party Japan Democracy Undone in 39 Months as DPJ Falls

12/16/2012
John Brinsley and Isabel Reynolds, Bloomberg Businessweek

It took 54 years for Japan’s politics to produce a viable opposition party, and 39 months for it to self-destruct after winning power, splintering prospects for an enduring policy-driven two-party system.

The Democratic Party of Japan lost three-fourths of its seats in parliament’s lower house three years after sweeping the Liberal Democratic Party from a half-century of almost unbroken rule. An LDP-led coalition won a two-thirds majority in the 480- seat chamber, according to public broadcaster NHK.

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Ellis Krauss is a leading expert on Japanese politics, U.S.-Japan relations, and Japan's political economy. In 2010 Cornell University Press will publish his latest book, co-authored with Robert Pekkanen of the University of Washington, The Rise and Fall of Japan's LDP: Political Party Organizations as Institutions. He can provide commentary on domestic politics in Japan, the Japanese mass media, U.S.-Japan relations and Japan's foreign policy and role in Asia.

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