Sunday, July 21, 2013

Japanese Upper House Election: Taro Yamamoto Won Seat in Tokyo With 4th Highest Votes, Communist Party Increased Seats Significantly

LDP and Komei won 76 seats together, bringing the overall number of seats in the Upper House (including the seats not contested this time) to 135, well past the simple majority of 121. DPJ collapsed from pre-election 44 to only 17, even though it is still the 2nd largest party overall.

It was almost funny to see the media, both newspapers and TV, keep telling the voters throughout the day and evening on July 21 (the election day) that the voter turnout was going to be so low that it would be the record-low. Here's Mainichi, saying the voter turnout as of 6PM was only 32.64%, and it was low across the nation. However, Yomiuri reports that the final turnout two hours later at 8PM was 52%. It is still low, but above 50% and not the record-low like the media has been telling the voters. It seems 20% of voters showed up in the last two hours of voting, except for places where the voting was finished earlier (35% of all voting stations nationwide).

Anyhow... Here's the election results, per Asahi Shinbun (English labels are by me):

And the results of Tokyo, per Yomiuri Shinbun, showing Taro Yamamoto close 4th after a Japanese Communist Party candidate (a 30-year-old woman), beating an experienced LDP politician (who still won the seat) and beating a DPJ candidate who was supported by many "famous" and "well-known" people but couldn't win the seat:

What's not so good is this, also from Asahi - overall numbers of Upper House Councilors of each party. To LDP and Komei, add Boy-wonder's Japan Restoration Party and Your Party whose policies are hardly different from those of LDP; you get the two-thirds majority, enough to change the Constitution. Abe has already declared that what he is going to do, now that he has the "mandate", having won both Houses of the Diet.

For sure, Komei Party says it is against the radical change of the Constitution as proposed by LDP, but it still wants to modify certain clauses. There are DPJ politicians who are for changing the Constitution.

After the win of Yamamoto was confirmed, I was surprised to see some of the influential experts on Twitter resorted to propagating totally false information about Yamamoto. They are people who think the fear of radioactive contamination in Japan and particularly in Fukushima Prefecture is way overblown. As far as I have followed, they have so far not resorted to manufacturing a lie about people they do not agree with, and they are usually the ones who appreciate accuracy in data.

But not this time. One such expert tweeted that Taro Yamamoto is "racist" (against people in Fukushima, he means; at least he doesn't use the transliterated katakana word) because Yamamoto just said in an NHK interview that the agricultural produce in Fukushima was nuclear waste. Yamamoto said no such thing, as it turned out. He said 100 Bq/kg contamination had been considered nuclear waste until the Fukushima accident, and after the Fukushima accident it is the safety limit for food.

I have problems myself with some of Yamamoto's opinions and understanding of things, but I didn't expect these experts to manufacture a lie like this to attack someone they don't agree with.

The other phenom in the election, Yohei Miyake, didn't win in the proportional representation part of the election for the Green Party, but he got over 150,000 votes (the highest in the Green Party). He has declared he will run again in three years in the Upper House election, and says he's glad his movement contributed to the win by Yamamoto.


Anonymous said...

Thank god Yohei Miyake didn't win! Now he has 3 years for Abenomics and the LDP to utterly devastate this country before he pulls in the sort of voters neded for change.

It is only fair that, with Abe at the helm, the LDP run this country into the ground and be forced to take full responsibility for 60 odd years of misuse-they then will be a spent force and the japanese electorate a bit more savvy, post financial meltdown.

Bring it on Shinzo!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post, up to the political situation. Glad Mr Yamamoto has a seat, if only to balance the upper house a bit.
My friends tell me the JCP has also strongly increased in big cities : Osaka, Kyoto...
Alas, inaka (countryside) people still vote for kome (rice).
As for the greens, I have no hope. Die Grünen in Germany have long been a powerfull political structure.
In France, just after Fuku disaster, Les Verts had a miserable score. Why ? I'm trying to understand.
They were awkward, unlucky, yes.
But in the most nuclearized country (energy, not warheads..) they should have made a hit. Every one in France likes green, but no-one votes green. There are greens on the left and greens on the right. They never miss an opportunity to quarel.
We saw with the Chirac vs Le Pen second vote session what it costs to vote for a party that can't win.
It might be too late with the japanese greens. Or see you in twenty years.
May-be the difference is that german Bosses and Unions work better together. There's money to make with green, and a shared interest there.
Green as a possible power-house, it's not a bet affordable to any country, although France should, as the size of agriculture and tourism in our economy is huge.

Anonymous said...

On day after the elections, Tepco admits that radio active water is flowing to the ocean. This is - of course - just pure luck for the lovely boys of the LDP.
I wonder after which election Tepco is going to admits that they have no clue how to solve this and that the situation is hopeless.
I predict that it will be the election that LDP will loose big.
Just part of the big plan, nothing else. And untill that time, the lovely boys of the LDP will see their ( foreign ) bank accounts grow and leave Japan behind them in total dispair, when that day will come.
The reason why so many Japanse voted for LDP, well, Abe said that if there is no oposition, they ( LDP) can finaly do things instead of fighting over things in the parlement.
That is for most Japanese a very good reason to give up their believes and political preferences. How hopeless can you be ?
Beside that, there is on the net a lot rumors of fraud the elections in Tokyo, as Marukawa (LDP)got by far the most votes of all the candidates ( and no one was lisening to her when she speetched).
The machines who has to read the votes is manufactured by a company who is sponsering her big time. Only possible in Japan...
The rumors are - off course - absolute baseless, and Tepco is in full controle and going to fullfill their roadmap ( piece of cake for them ), let me make that very clear.

The level of the average Japanese is of a little kid of 5-7 years, who believes in fairy tales.

Unknown said...

This is nice informative blog in which you discuss aboutupper house election and significant victory of communist party. Thanks for sharing this and keep sharing.

Ballot Boxes | Voting Booths | Ballot Boxes China

Mr Abdullah Ibrahim said...

We offer personal Business loans services around the world. We strive to provide high quality service and high customer satisfaction, while possible financial services. We pride ourselves on our commitment to our customers; We can give you personal loans, auto loans, business / investment loans, short term loans. You can contact us for an affordable loan now at 2% interest rate. Contact us now via E-mail:
WhatsApp Number +918929490461
Mr Abdullah Ibrahim

Post a Comment