News

    Japanese Prime Minister Headed for Decisive Victory

    Japan's governing coalition is headed for a landslide victory, based on exit polling and early results from Sunday's election. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi achieved his goal of having the snap election focus on his pet reform project of postal privatization.

    Shouts of 'banzai' are resounding across Japan at campaign headquarters of the Liberal Democratic Party.

    LDP leader and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi received a huge vote of confidence from Japan's electorate, and it appears possible, after all the votes are counted, that his party could achieve an absolute majority for the first time in 15 years. That would give it solid control of legislative activity in the more powerful Lower House of Parliament.

    For the country's largest opposition group, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the results are a crushing setback, almost certain to lead to the resignation of party President Katsuya Okada, who promised to step down if the DPJ lost.

    DPJ acting secretary-general Yukio Edano acknowledges his party failed to get the public to warm to its platform, including a call to remove Japanese troops from Iraq.

    Mr. Edano says that, while the party enjoyed much grassroots support, the DPJ failed to adequately communicate with much of the mainstream and many swing voters who did not get the party's message.

    Professor Jeffrey Kingston at the Tokyo campus of America's Temple University cautions, however, that the results should not be seen as an endorsement of Mr. Koizumi's hawkish policies on defense and constitutional revision, amid cool relations with Japan's Asian neighbors.

    "I don't think his victory, in a sense, signifies that the Japanese electorate has shifted to the right. That is his baggage, but I dont think that's why people are voting for him. They're voting for him because they believe his domestic political agenda is more attractive than the opposition," said Mr. Kingston.

    The Liberal Democratic Party, which is actually conservative, since being established in 1955 has governed the country, except for a ten-month period.  During the past month, Mr. Koizumi cast out a number of older stalwarts, who opposed the maverick prime minister on his postal reform plan.

    The post office, with its trillions of dollars in postal savings and insurance policies, is a lucrative source of funds for public works projects that have benefited rural constituents in traditional LDP strongholds.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora