Slices of Japanese business, politics and life
Opinion polls show the opposition Democratic Party of Japan is set for a runaway victory in Sunday’s general election, but voters are showing none of the enthusiasm that swept Barack Obama to the U.S. presidency last year.
When I talked to more than a dozen voters in a small town near Hiroshima, western Japan, they were interested in the election and had a lot to say about it. And most were looking for change — but not with a great deal of fervour.
Perhaps that’s because I was in Higashihiroshima, a conservative rural area surrounded by rice fields and known for its sake. The district has always voted for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) that has ruled Japan for all but 10 months during the past half century.
The voters were also well aware of the raft of challenges, such as growing social welfare costs, facing a new government, and seemed to have low expectations for the Democrats.