Japan's Quiet Revolution: Election 2009
Robert Weiner, Assistant Professor at Naval Postgraduate School
Ethan Scheiner, Professor, Department of Political Science at University of California, Davis
Kaoru (Kay) Shimizu, Assistant Professor at Columbia University
Daniel Sneider, Associate Director for Research, Shorenstein APARC, Stanford University
Japanese voters brought about a quiet revolution in the political life of the country in the August 30 election of the lower house of the parliament. In a historic election, Japanese voters brought to an end more than a half century of almost uninterrupted rule by the conservative Liberal Democratic Party. The opposition Democratic Party of Japan swept the election, gaining an overwhelming majority in the lower house to go with their coalition majority in the upper house. Three prominent scholars will analyze the election results, looking at how they fit into past developments, what it tells us about the evolution of Japan's political system and voter behavior, what this means for the emergence of competitive elections in Japan, and what the election may mean for the future of US-Japan relations.