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Japanese Prime Minister Aso announced Lower House elections earlier today. Last Saturday he still insisted that elections would not be announced any time soon, but the LDP’s historic loss at yesterday’s elections for the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly seems to have changed his mind.
The LDP has been in power for most of the time since 1955. Only during a short 10-month period during the early 1990s did the opposition manage to become the governing party. As the coming elections could possibly spell the end of the LDP’s long reign they are of historic importance. Whether the opposition wins or not, the political balance in Japan will be changed.
For more information, the following articles are recommended:
Japan Times: DPJ scores big win in Tokyo assembly
Asahi Shimbun: Huge gains for Minshuto in Tokyo
Far Eastern Economic Review: Can the DPJ Bring Democracy to Japan?
Another good source is the blog Observing Japan by Tobias Harris.