Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
from Raw Japan:
Observers of Japanese politics who have long thought the country was ripe for a real two-party system are watching Sunday's election with a dual sense of incredulity -- surprise that it has taken so long to oust the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), and surprise that it finally looks like happening.
Media surveys show the decade-old opposition Democratic Party is set to win the poll for parliament's powerful lower house -- and probably by a landslide, ushering in party leader Yukio Hatoyama at the head of a government pledged to spend more on consumers and workers than the companies that benefited most from LDP policies.
That would be only the second time the LDP has lost its grip on government since it was founded in 1955.
"Every one I talk to has that feeling -- they aren't sure it's really going to happen because they thought it would happen before," said Steven Reed, a political scientist at Chuo University who has been analysing Japanese politics for decades. "A lot of people predicted based on hope, and that's not a particularly good variable for predictions."