The Election Result: the 43rd General Election

10 November 2003

Tadayoshi Kusano
General Secretary

  1. In yesterdayÁs 43rd General Election, the Democratic Party of Japan scored big gains from its pre-election strength, while the Liberal Democratic Party-led ruling coalition lost seats but gained 269 seats to retain a solid majority in the House of Representatives. The LDP won 237 seats, far less than its pre-election strength of 247. This is meant that voters criticised that the LDP remained in political power for a long period and that Koizumi reforms trying to break away from the LDP politics had not made any significant progress.

  2. As the DPJÁs absorption of the Liberal party realised a condition for a two-party system, this general election was the first election in Japan to present voters with a genuine choice of administrations. At stake was whether the ruling coalition would continue remaining in power or a new DPJ-led administration would run the country. Following DPJÁs policy debates with its anti-bureaucrats Manifesto, all major parties ˛ both ruling and opposition - publicised their Manifestos so that the election became a ÇManifestÁ election. It was appreciated that parties competed with concrete policies on economy, public works, social security, foreign affairs, etc.

  3. In spite that policy debates had been given an increasing attention of the people and the DPJ had given the choice for a shift in power, voter turnout came to on some 59 percent, compared with 62.49 percent in the previous election in 2000. The people and all other stakeholders have to face this low turnout in a sincere manner. This requires trade unions and other forces that demand reforms to live ups to fundamental reforms in a political climate.

  4. Through the election campaign, Rengo called for policies to be implemented to boost the economy and employment and did its best efforts with 277 Rengo-recommended candidates, out of which 176 won seats (107 constituency and 69 proportional representations), compared with 135 in the precious election. Rengo would like to thank all affiliates and Rengo locals that worked hard to support these candidates and would also like to ask for further cooperation with a view to early establishing a support system towards the House of Councillor election in 2005.