Polls Shows Japanese Opposition Party Critical of US Role Poised for Victory

Party Seeks Foreign Policy Independent of US

With the official start of the political campaign in Japan, the nation’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which has been the ruling party more or less consistantly for the past 50 years, is trailing dramatically according to two polls by major Japanese dailies.

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), a relatively new opposition party which runs on a dramatically anti-traditionalist platform is shown leading 35 percent to 16 percent by Tokyo Shimbun, and 40 percent to 21 percent by Asahi Daily.

In contrast to the bureaucratic LDP, the DPJ has sought a dramatic break with business as usual in the notoriously slow to change Japanese government. The DPJ advocates a limited and decentralized government domestically, and an independent foreign policy abroad. They have in particular criticized the LDP for unquestioningly following the American lead in matters of policy, and call for improved relations with China and Korea.

They have also criticized the LDP for its efforts to stray away from their pacifist constitution and get involved in military efforts overseas. But perhaps the most serious blow to US influence over the nation’s foreign policy is that the DPJ has advocated “reconsidering” the US military presence in the nation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.