Slices of Japanese business, politics and life
from Global News Journal:
"Political deflation" - that's how one quipster described the woes besetting Japan's political sphere as support for both the new ruling party and its main conservative rival slips on concerns that neither side is capable of steering an economy plagued by falling prices, decades of lacklustre growth and a fast-ageing, shrinking population.
Six months after the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) swept to power for the first time in a landslide election win that ended more than 50 years of almost unbroken rule by the conservative Liberal Democrats, support for Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's government is only about half the exuberant 70 percent level enjoyed when he took office.
Pundits are predicting the DPJ will have trouble winning an outright majority in an election, expected to be held in July, for parliament's less powerful upper house. The Democrats need a majority to break loose of a tiny coalition partner -- outspoken banking minister Shizuka Kamei's People's New Party -- as well as another small partner, the Social Democrats, so they can avoid policy squabbles and pass bills smoothly. An outright ruling bloc loss threatens parliamentary deadlock.
A survey published in the Nikkei business daily on Monday showed support for Hatoyama's cabinet has slid seven points to 36 percent and support for the DPJ is down eight points at 33 percent.