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Beware of Japan’s “New Capitalism”

Fresh off an electoral victory, Japan’s new prime minister, Fumio Kishida, is already offering a glimpse of what his economic policy program will look like in practice. Unfortunately, early signs suggest that while his aims are sound, his policies are not.

TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida survived the general election on October 31, which came just weeks after his arrival in office as the new leader of the nation. Losing only 15 seats, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) performed better than expected and will maintain a comfortable majority in the House of Representatives, with 261 of 465 seats.

The relative loser was the largest opposition party, the Constitutional Democratic Party, which lost 13 seats, leaving it with 96. It performed worse than predicted, despite having coordinated its selection of candidates with other opposition parties.

A major winner was the Restoration Party (Nippon Ishin no Kai), which gained 30 seats and now holds 41, making it the third-largest party in the House, after the LDP and the Constitutional Democrats. It attracted voters who are critical of the LDP’s management of the COVID-19 crisis but reluctant to support the Constitutional Democrats, owing to their cooperation with the Communist Party during the election campaign.