The “Jiminto” (LDP) ie the party that has ruled Japan pretty much since the war, barring a brief break with Hosokawa’s cabinet, may be looking with horror at the end of their monopoly on power. Under the pathetic Aso, whose grinning face was seen among the high and mighty at the G8 summit, their support in opinion polls just drags along at a low 20something%, and a general election must be called soon, as the current Diet’s mandate expires in September.
After losing the Shizuoka governor’s position to the opposition Minshuto (DPJ) last weekend, the LDP look set to lose their majority in the Tokyo council in the election tomorrow. The Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara, a raving right-wing nationalist, richly deserves a slap in the face with a wet fish anyway, so although his seat is not at stake at this time he should find it harder to throw his weight around from next week on. 24 hours will tell, and I’ve got my fingers crossed…
The LDP are starting to look desperate, and if they get the drubbing tomorrow that they seem in for then the voices to drop Aso and replace him with someone slightly more electorally appetising will rise even higher than they already are. Overtures to the popular former comedian Higashi Kokubaru, governor of Miyazaki, to be an LDP candidate in the upcoming general election got the resposnse “OK if i can stand for prime minister”… which didn’t go down too well in certain LDP circles, and the more sensible, young and also popular Hashimoto of Osaka is wisely keeping them at more of an arm’s length.
Should be an interesting month or two, anyway.