11 Replies to “Japan's Liberal Democratic Party: Japanese Politics 101

  1. Oh shoot, they only have that I guarantee because of academia and they have control over it so controlling the politics of future generations. Ldp is making its comeback for more numbers and support. Exactly what the Democratic Party was trying for the past years. Failed attempt so far though. Interesting

  2. "The LDP is an aristocratic party – at least on the leadership level…"

    I would say on the policy level as well.

    Really interesting historical perspective as always. Good job! Now let's see a little more rigor in terms of analysis of the repercussions for society. That piece of the puzzle was completely absent from this session.

  3. Of course to describe the LDP in 30 minutes would be like to describe the whole – almost – of Japanese politics, so some elements are bound to be left out. Even so, I thought the influence of the USA in the early days was too downplayed. CIA money to the LDP, running at $1million a month, is surely more than a "drop in the ocean"? Even more so, look up the "M-fund". Many millions of dollars in gold, jewellery and minerals, possibly looted from Asian countries in the war, but allowed by the US to pass into the hands of LDP politicians and yakuza.

    Yakuza – they are not mentioned at all, but many LDP politicians were, and still are, connected. This is well known, not wild allegation. The origins of the party are murky, going on outrageous – read the first chapter of "Tokyo Underworld" by Robert Whiting, writings of Jake Adelstein, and then go on to check the facts. Whiting and Adelstein are journalists, but university scholars will back up what they say.

    The responsibility of the US occupation authorities is grave indeed. They reversed their first attempts to instill democracy in Japan, released the imprisoned war criminals so they could run the country again and used that slush fund to support right-wing, nationalist elements and suppress unions and socialists. Japanese democracy was a victim of the Cold War, and we are still living with the results. The current Prime Minister is the grandson of a war criminal. That's not his fault of course, but his failure to condemn Nobusuke Kishi's crimes certainly is.

    This – stimulating as usual – Tokyo on Fire episode triggered off a morning of internet searching. I'm just going to paste in some links here for anyone who might be interested:

  4. The problem with the Democratic Party in America is that they've abandoned their "koenkai" in places outside the East and West coasts. I am amazed at the flexibility of the LDP, that it's able to spread the money around in ways that can garner votes like a social democratic party, and yet be able to stiff other regions and key societal groups without there being much opposition. When an opposition does organize, the LDP is able to undermine it through its longstanding money shovel to the hinterlands. It is interesting also that Koizumi did not destroy this relationship when he broke the postal monopoly into several companies, and crushed the "postal hantai" in the 2005 election.

  5. Fantastic insight and information as always. Every time I come here, I learn some new depth that I never understood fully before, and today it was the Koenkai. I have to say also, I am always incredibly impressed by the standard of quality you provide here.

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