Mary Kissel writes that the reform agenda of the opposition DPJ party and its leader, Yukio Hatoyama, should not be carried out at the expense of a strong alliance with the United States.
It was inevitable that even the Japanese would eventually get fed up with patronage politics, governance gaffes and decades of economic drift.
Yesterday's election victory of the Democratic Party of Japan and party leader Yukio Hatoyama is no small thing. It undermines nearly 54 years of Liberal Democratic Party dominance in Tokyo. The last time this happened-in 1993-a motley coalition of eight parties held power for merely 11 months. The DPJ, by contrast, has been a party for more than a decade and wants to stay for the Lower House's full four-year term.
Mr. Hatoyama also wields the biggest popular mandate in more than a decade after winning a resounding majority in the Lower House yesterday. The DPJ and its allies now control both legislative houses. Such a political earthquake was last witnessed in 2005, when former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi called a snap election to get a popular mandate to reform Japan's economy and oust antireform MPs.