Did the overwhelming defeat  of the Liberal Democratic Party  (LDP) in Japan's upper house elections  signal a wind of change  sweeping through the Japanese political landscape, a groundswell of support  for the opposition Democratic Party of Japan  (DPJ), or was it simply a long-overdue rejection of “business as usual” ? As the election came to a close on Sunday night and early results started to appear , there were no lack of interpretations offered  to explain what had been widely predicted beforehand .
When the dust settled, the ruling LDP /New Komeito  coalition was left with only 105 seats in the upper house  versus the 137 seats held altogether by the opposition parties. The LDP  in particular only managed to reclaim 37 of the 64 contested seats it held prior to the election, whereas the DPJ  surged ahead, capturing 60 of the contested seats from the mere 32 it held pre-election. Of particular note was the unprecedented degree to which DPJ captured single-seat districts , LDP strongholds historically perceived to be unassailable due to unflinching support from rural voters; the LDP managed to win only 6 of the 29 contested single-district seats, whereas the DPJ, overtaking support in rural areas , came away with 17.
As some have noted , the results of the election offered a mixed bag of new faces  [Ja] and crushing defeats . While Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori  failed in his bid on the People's New Party ticket , 31-year-old Kawada Ryuhei  [Ja], the HIV-positive independent candidate infected by tained blood , won his seat  — a sign, perhaps, that the so-called “Lost Generation” has come of age . Then again, candidate Otsuji Kanako , running on the Democratic Party ticket, lost in her bid , putting an end to hopes that the National Diet would see its first openly gay member  [Ja].
Bloggers have, not surprisingly, offered mixed reactions to the election results. While some have voiced support for the DPJ and their leader Ozawa Ichiro , others have argued that the DPJ victory is grounded more in dissatisfaction with the LDP  — and, in particular, palpable anger and frustration  over the pension fund fiasco  — than anything else. One thing that most seem to agree on, however: given the long and largely unbroken history  of LDP control, the emerging contours of the post 7/29 Japanese political landscape  are very difficult, at this point, to predict.
On the night of the election results, many bloggers were commenting on the coverage itself, which was nonstop and dominated airtime on nearly every channel. Blogger Sota  complains:
As election results became clear, many bloggers offered their thoughts and reactions. Blogger Sasamoto Kenji expresses his surprise  at the scale of the LDP defeat, and offers a possible explanation:
Other bloggers reflected on the victory of the Democratic Party of Japan, some voicing skepticism and apprehension  about the change:
The decision of Prime Minister Abe to hold onto his seat , despite exit polls showing a majority of Japanese people want him out , did not go down well with Japanese bloggers. Blogger hanahanasakura opens a post on the topic of Abe's decision not to stand down  with the following thoughts:
The look on Abe's face in television coverage left an impression with many bloggers. One blogger expresses surprise :
The Liberal Democratic Party… I thought they were going to lose, but… Prime Minister Abe … the way he averted his eyes left an impression on me…
Blogger Middle Earth, in a post entitled “I saw it! Abe had a face like he was about to cry ,” (見たぞー安部の泣きべそ顔) writes:
Why? Because the Liberal Democratic Party lost decisively, hehehe.
For one thing, when I was watching TV, I saw Prime Minister Abe with a face like he was about to cry (and still is now).
I had so much fun! ♪
If they handle things badly, then the people may quickly turn their backs on them, so they better do a good job!!
Finally, blogger Spiral Dragon , in a blog entry entitled “Abe Jong-il, dissolve the lower house immediately!” (安倍ジョンイルは直ちに衆議院を解散せよ！), minces no words when comparing Prme Minister Abe to North Korea leader Kim Jong-Il :