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John Rubino: Why We’re Ungovernable, Part 5: Japan “Would Be Manageable, If Only…”

By John Rubino, Dec 17, 2012

Japan’s government has fallen — again:

Two-Party Japan Democracy Undone in 39 Months as DPJ Crumbles
It took 54 years for Japan’s politics to produce a viable opposition party, and 39 months for it to self-destruct after winning power, splintering prospects for an enduring policy-driven two-party system.

The Democratic Party of Japan lost as many as three-fourths of its seats in Parliament’s lower house three years after sweeping the Liberal Democratic Party from a half-century of almost unbroken rule. An LDP-led coalition was on track to win a two-thirds majority in the 480-seat chamber, broadcaster NHK said late yesterday.

While the DPJ’s leaders came under fire for the response to the March 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster, the biggest collapse in public support preceded the crisis. Undermined by a faction boss who later split and took about 50 seats with him, the DPJ flubbed its historic chance at the beginning by pledging to move a U.S. military base off Okinawa, then reneging on it.

“It was a missed opportunity for now to build a true two- party system,” said Ellis Krauss, a professor of Japanese politics at the University of California, San Diego. “Japan’s major challen