2009 general election open thread #2

The general election campaign begins officially on Tuesday. In the meantime, here's a somewhat stylized picture I took outside Fussa station in Tokyo's twenty-fifth district.Nagashima Akihisa, the DPJ's candidate in Tokyo's twenty-first district, gives a speech on behalf of Masago Taro, the PNP candidate in the twenty-fifth district.Post your notes and observations from the campaign …

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Is it possible improve Japanese political financing?

Less than two months after succeeding the tainted Ozawa Ichirō as DPJ president, Hatoyama Yukio is mired in a scandal of his own, related to the use of fake contributions to cover for illegal transfers from Hatoyama's personal funds to his political support group.Jun Okumura describes the scandal in painstaking detail here.Asō Tarō naturally singled …

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Off to the races in Yamaguchi-2

Today marks the official start of campaigning in the by-election for Yamaguchi's second electoral district; the election will be held on 27 April.The election, to fill the seat vacated by newly elected Iwakuni mayor Fukuda Yoshihiko, pits the LDP's Yamamoto Shigetaro (59) against the DPJ's Hiraoka Hideo (54). Mr. Hiraoka is a three-term Diet member …

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The LDP’s candidate surplus

Sato Yukari, the "assassin" denied the LDP's nomination for Gifu-1, will receive the party's endorsement to run in Tokyo-5, which includes Meguro ward and part of Setagaya ward. The district's current representative, Kosugi Takashi, a former education minister, will be retiring at term's end.The LDP had considered endorsing Dr. Sato for other districts, but ultimately …

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Not your father’s (or grandfather’s) LDP?

Asahi reports that the LDP has leaped into the twenty-first century and set up a YouTube channel of its own, with Kono Taro, third-generation LDP member of the House of Representatives (and third-generation potential party leader) as the party's face on YouTube.The innovation is not in putting videos on the Internet — there has been …

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Thinking about Japanese democracy

With the Upper House elections now a week away, it is worthwhile to step back and think about Japan's political system. At least that's what I did recently, reading Bradley Richardson's Japanese Democracy: Power, Coordination, and Performance — this month's recommended book.Published in 1997, Richardson's book is obviously not the place to go for analysis …

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