- Arudou Debito, is a columnist for the Japan Times, activist, blogger at debito.org, and Chair of the NPO Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association. The opinions expressed are his own -
Japan's famous mantra is that things don't change much or very quickly. But I have a feeling that this approaching Lower House parliamentary election on August 30 just might prove that wrong.
But first some background. Japan has been ruled essentially by one party since the end of World War II -- the Liberal Democrats (LDP). That's longer than in any other liberal democracy, competing with other countries that have no other parties to choose from.
There are many theories as to why that happened. Some might insist that risk-averse Japanese weren't ready to tamper with the status quo, when economic growth was running so smoothly between 1950 and 1990, and everyone was feeling prosperous.
But that theory breaks down when you realize that Japan is the only developed economy which actually SHRANK on average over the past twenty years. If prosperity breeds contentment, two decades is enough time to voters make the elected feel their winter of discontent.