Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

Cozying up to Japan’s opposition


Japan’s main opposition Democratic Party has a shot at grabbing power this year from the Liberal Democrats – ending more than five decades of almost unbroken rule – and many in the political and business establishment are wary.

Can the Democrats really govern? What will it mean if they really take power? While trying to answer these questions, one thing is clear to everyone: The Democrats can no longer be ignored.

Corporate executives, bureaucrats and foreign diplomats are cautiously reaching out to the 10-year-old Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which has vowed to reduce bureaucratic clout over policies and take a diplomatic stance more independent of ally Washington.

Some say the party, a mix of former Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members, ex-socialists and younger conservatives, may craft policies friendlier to labour unions and consumers rather than Japan’s big corporations.