Sun Sep 11th, 2005 at 04:29:14 PM EST
From the diaries ~ whataboutbob
Judging from the exit poll, Koizumi is set on a landslide victory, his party Liberal Democrats (LDP) winning about 300 out of 480 seats, while the opposition Democrats (DPJ) is suffering a serious setback with only 100 seats projected to win.
Koizumi has been able to draw thousands of enthusiastic crowds wherever he went with the campaign theme of postal service privatization and the "reform foward" one-liner. The mass perceived this election as a personal confidence vote in him, rather than a vote for LDP, his policy or anything else.
This enthusiastic sense of trust is not just indication of support of the privatization policy. The vote is indicative of the mass support for his clear-cut leadership style, ranging from the support of the War on Terror and Iraq, DPRK and the China policy. They are sensing with excitement assertiveness, both inside Japan and abroad.
At this point, LDP does not have much of a economic platform. Traditionally, when they have clear mass support of this magnitude, they tended to raise the tax, as they have not been able to cut spending.
In terms of foreign policy, Koizumi has confidence of the people. Even the Iraq adventure is being counted by conservative media as a historic achievement in the sense that he sent troops overseas for the first time and did not "back down" (echoing South Korea's justification of joining the Vietnam war 30 years ago). Chinese and Korean governments will have an even more tense time with Japan, and probably seek ways to cooperate with each other against Japan.
The next few years will show a range of developments in this part of the world.