Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:6PM
The ruling Democratic Party of Japan held elections on Friday to choose a leader. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda achieved a minor victory winning a predictable but definite majority.
The ruling Democratic Party of Japan held its leadership elections in Tokyo this Friday. Despite his growing unpopularity among the public, incumbent party president and Prime Minister, Yoshihiko Noda surprised no one with his victory. The 3 challengers, Hirotaka Akamatsu, Kazuhiro Haraguchi, and Michihiko Kano, only managed to garner a combined 115 votes. the overwhelming support for Prime Minister Noda here today is hardly surprising. In recent weeks, over 70 DPJ lawmakers who were dissatisfied with the direction the party is taking, have already defected, making it extremely difficult for any of Noda's challengers to garner substantial support. Noda addressed the press immediately after his win, admitting that the challenges ahead, both at home and abroad, are formidable. And with Noda's current Cabinet at a mere 30 percent in approval ratings, a rumoured Cabinet shuffling on October 1st might be his next move. The DPJ must now grapple with ongoing domestic challenges, including its controversial energy policy, post-disaster recovery in the northeastern region, and looming social welfare crisis. Noda may have won a majority of votes among DPJ Diet Members and rank-and-file party members, but within the Lower House of the Diet, the DPJ's hold on the majority is razor thin. There are rumblings of more DPJ lawmakers jumping ship soon after this election, which may cost the party its majority in the Lower House. Noda may have survived this leadership challenge, but the real battle begins now for the DPJ to unite the party before the next general election in the lower house