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This Week in Japan (08.08.17)

This Week in Japan is your source for news and information about politics and other happenings in this East Asian island country. This episode covers the Top Five stories of the first week of August 2017.

Goshi Hosono Resigns as Democratic Party Executive

Another prominent Democratic Party conservative offered a resignation today, and defections are ongoing among Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly members. In the near term, these are heavy blows to the party leadership of President Renho and Secretary-General Yoshihiko Noda which might bring them down in the late summer months.

The Painful Birth of the Unity Party

Rarely has a political party been created that so looks forward to its own destruction. More commonly the birth of a new political party is attended by hopes that one day, with hard work and perseverance, it may capture a majority and govern the nation. But in the case of the Unity Party, inaugural leader Kenji Eda has made it surprising clear that he expects his new party to have long met its demise even before its first general election.

Yoshimi Watanabe Loses His Soul

Since its foundation in August 2009, Yoshimi Watanabe’s Your Party has been a bit player, but usually an interesting one. What set Your Party apart from a host of many other short-lived outfits was its relatively clear policy identity. This was the party of free enterprise, neoliberal economics, deregulation, and limited, preferably decentralized, government.

The Uncertain Road to Opposition Consolidation

There’s one thing that all of Japan’s significant, existing opposition parties seem to agree upon; and that’s that none of them have any hope of overthrowing Liberal Democratic Party rule on their own in the presumed double elections of July 2016. They must combine their forces in some new manner in order to present a credible alternative that people might actually vote for.