|Councilors Leader||Masakazu Sekiguchi|
|Founded||15 November 1955|
|Merger of||Japan Democratic Party|
|Headquarters||11-23, Nagatach? 1-chome, Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-8910, Japan|
"Kokumin no tame ni hataraku"
("Working for the people")
|Prefectural assembly members|
|City, special ward, town and village assembly members|
^ a: The Liberal Democratic Party is a big-tent conservative party. The LDP is also described as centre-right, but the LDP has both far-right, ultra-conservative factions, with many members belonging to Nippon Kaigi, and centrist factions.
The LDP has almost continuously been in power since its foundation in 1955--a period called the 1955 System--with the exception of a period between 1993 and 1994, and again from 2009 to 2012. In the 2012 election it regained control of the government. It holds 285 seats in the lower house and 113 seats in the upper house, and in coalition with the Komeito since 1999, the governing coalition has a supermajority in both houses. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and many present and former LDP ministers are also known members of Nippon Kaigi, an ultranationalist and monarchist organization.
The LDP is not to be confused with the now-defunct Democratic Party of Japan (, Minshut?), the main opposition party from 1998 to 2016, or the Democratic Party (, Minshint?), the main opposition party from 2016 to 2017. The LDP is also not to be confused with the 1998-2003 Liberal Party (, Jiy?t?) or the 2016-2019 Liberal Party (, Jiy?-t?).
The LDP was formed in 1955 as a merger between two of Japan's political parties, the Liberal Party (, Jiyut?, 1945-1955, led by Shigeru Yoshida) and the Japan Democratic Party (, Nihon Minshut?, 1954-1955, led by Ichir? Hatoyama), both right-wing conservative parties, as a united front against the then popular Japan Socialist Party (, Nipponshakait?), now Social Democratic Party (, Shakaiminshut?). The party won the following elections, and Japan's first conservative government with a majority was formed by 1955. It would hold majority government until 1993.
The LDP began with reforming Japan's international relations, ranging from entry into the United Nations, to establishing diplomatic ties with the Soviet Union. Its leaders in the 1950s also made the LDP the main government party, and in all the elections of the 1950s, the LDP won the majority vote, with the only other opposition coming from left-wing politics, made up of the Japan Socialist Party and the Japanese Communist Party.
From the 1950s through the 1970s, the United States Central Intelligence Agency spent millions of dollars attempting to influence elections in Japan to favor the LDP against more leftist parties such as the Socialists and the Communists, although this was not revealed until the mid-1990s when it was exposed by The New York Times.
For the majority of the 1960s, the LDP (and Japan) were led by Eisaku Sat?, beginning with the hosting of the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and ending in 1972 with Japanese neutrality in the Vietnam War and with the beginning of the Japanese asset price bubble. By the end of the 1970s, the LDP went into its decline, where even though it held the reins of government many scandals plagued the party, while the opposition (now joined with the Komeito (Former)) gained momentum.
In 1976, in the wake of the Lockheed bribery scandals, a handful of younger LDP Diet members broke away and established their own party, the New Liberal Club (Shin Jiyu Kurabu). A decade later, however, it was reabsorbed by the LDP.
By the late 1970s, the Japan Socialist Party, the Japanese Communist Party, and the Komeito along with the international community used major pressure to have Japan switch diplomatic ties from the Republic of China to the People's Republic of China.
By the early 1990s, the LDP's nearly four decades in power allowed it to establish a highly stable process of policy formation. This process would not have been possible if other parties had secured parliamentary majorities. LDP strength was based on an enduring, although not unchallenged, coalition of big business, small business, agriculture, professional groups, and other interests. Elite bureaucrats collaborated closely with the party and interest groups in drafting and implementing policy. In a sense, the party's success was a result not of its internal strength but of its weakness. It lacked a strong, nationwide organization or consistent ideology with which to attract voters. Its leaders were rarely decisive, charismatic, or popular. But it functioned efficiently as a locus for matching interest group money and votes with bureaucratic power and expertise. This arrangement resulted in corruption, but the party could claim credit for helping to create economic growth and a stable, middle-class Japan.
Seven opposition parties--including several formed by LDP dissidents--formed a government headed by LDP dissident Morihiro Hosokawa of the Japan New Party. However, the LDP was still far and away the largest party in the House of Representatives, with well over 200 seats; no other party crossed the 80-seat mark.
In 1994, the Socialist Party and New Party Sakigake left the ruling coalition, joining the LDP in the opposition. The remaining members of the coalition tried to stay in power as a makeshift minority government, but this failed when the LDP and the Socialists, bitter rivals for 40 years, formed a majority coalition. The new government was dominated by the LDP, but it allowed a Socialist to occupy the Prime Minister's chair until 1996, when the LDP's Ryutaro Hashimoto took over.
In the 1996 election, the LDP made some gains, but was still 12 seats short of a majority. However, no other party could possibly form a government, and Hashimoto formed a solidly LDP minority government. Through a series of floor-crossings, the LDP regained its majority within a year.
The party was practically unopposed until 1998, when the opposition Democratic Party of Japan was formed. This marked the beginning of the opposing parties' gains in momentum, especially in the 2003 and 2004 Parliamentary Elections, that wouldn't slow for another 12 years.
In the dramatically paced 2003 House of Representatives elections, the LDP won 237 seats, while the DPJ won 177 seats. In the 2004 House of Councillors elections, in the seats up for grabs, the LDP won 49 seats and the DPJ 50, though in all seats (including those uncontested) the LDP still had a total of 114. Because of this electoral loss, former Secretary-General Shinzo Abe turned in his resignation, but Party President Koizumi merely demoted him in rank, and he was replaced by Tsutomu Takebe.
On 10 November 2003, the New Conservative Party (Hoshu Shint?) was absorbed into the LDP, a move which was largely because of the New Conservative Party's poor showing in the 2003 general election. The LDP formed a coalition with the conservative Buddhist New Komeito.
After a victory in the 2005 Japan general election, the LDP held an absolute majority in the Japanese House of Representatives and formed a coalition government with the New Komeito Party. Abe succeeded then-Prime Minister Junichir? Koizumi as the president of the party on 20 September 2006. The party suffered a major defeat in the election of 2007, however, and lost its majority in the upper house for the first time in its history.
In a party leadership election held on 23 September 2007, the LDP elected Yasuo Fukuda as its president. Fukuda defeated Tar? As? for the post, receiving 330 votes against 197 votes for Aso. However Fukuda resigned suddenly in September 2008, and As? became Prime Minister after winning the presidency of the LDP in a 5-way election.
In the 2009 general election, the LDP was roundly defeated, winning only 118 seats--easily the worst defeat of a sitting government in modern Japanese history, and also the first real transfer of political power in the post-war era. Accepting responsibility for this severe defeat, Aso announced his resignation as LDP president on election night. Sadakazu Tanigaki was elected leader of the party on 28 September 2009, after a three-way race, becoming only the second LDP leader who was not simultaneously prime minister.
The party's support continued to decline, with prime ministers changing rapidly, and in the 2009 House of Representatives elections the LDP lost its majority, winning only 118 seats, marking the only time they would be out of the majority other than a brief period in 1993. Since that time, numerous party members have left to join other parties or form new ones, including Your Party (, Minna no T?), the Sunrise Party of Japan (?, Tachiagare Nippon), and the New Renaissance Party (?, Shint? Kaikaku). The party had some success in the 2010 House of Councilors election, netting 13 additional seats and denying the DPJ a majority. The LDP returned to power with its ally New Komeito after winning a clear majority in the lower house general election on 16 December 2012 after just over three years in opposition. Shinzo Abe became Prime Minister for the second time.
The LDP has not espoused a well-defined, unified ideology or political philosophy, due to its long-term government, and has been described as a "catch-all" party. Its members hold a variety of positions that could be broadly defined as being to the right of the opposition parties. The LDP is usually associated with conservatism and Japanese nationalism. The LDP traditionally identified itself with a number of general goals: rapid, export-based economic growth; close cooperation with the United States in foreign and defense policies; and several newer issues, such as administrative reform. Administrative reform encompassed several themes: simplification and streamlining of government bureaucracy; privatization of state-owned enterprises; and adoption of measures, including tax reform, in preparation for the expected strain on the economy posed by an aging society. Other priorities in the early 1990s included the promotion of a more active and positive role for Japan in the rapidly developing Asia-Pacific region, the internationalization of Japan's economy by the liberalization and promotion of domestic demand (expected to lead to the creation of a high-technology information society) and the promotion of scientific research. A business-inspired commitment to free enterprise was tempered by the insistence of important small business and agricultural constituencies on some form of protectionism and subsidies. In addition, the LDP opposes the legalization of same-sex marriage.
The LDP is a conservative party. However, in the case of the LDP administration under the 1955 System in Japan, their degree of economic control was stronger than that of Western conservative governments; it was also positioned closer to social democracy at that time. Since the 1970s, the oil crisis has slowed economic growth and increased the resistance of urban citizens to policies that favor farmers. To maintain its dominant position, the LDP sought to expand party supporters by incorporating social security policies and pollution measures advocated by opposition parties.
At the apex of the LDP's formal organization is the president (, s?sai), who can serve three three-year terms (The presidential term was increased from two years to three years in 2002, and from two to three terms in 2017). When the party has a parliamentary majority, the party president is the prime minister. The choice of party president is formally that of a party convention composed of Diet members and local LDP figures, but in most cases, they merely approved the joint decision of the most powerful party leaders. To make the system more democratic, Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda introduced a "primary" system in 1978, which opened the balloting to some 1.5 million LDP members. The process was so costly and acrimonious, however, that it was subsequently abandoned in favor of the old "smoke-filled room" method -- so-called in allusion to the notion of closed discussions held in small rooms filled with tobacco smoke.
After the party president, the most important LDP officials are the Secretary-General (kanjicho), and the chairmen of the LDP Executive Council (somukaicho) and of the Policy Affairs Research Council or "PARC" (, seimu ch?sakai).
|Secretary-General||Toshihiro Nikai||Representatives||Nikai (Shisuikai)|
|Executive Acting Secretary-General||Seiko Noda||Representatives||None|
|Acting Secretary-General||Motoo Hayashi||Representatives||Nikai (Shisuikai)|
|Masahiko Shibayama||Representatives||Hosoda (Seiwa Seisaku Kenky?kai)|
|Junichi Ishii||Councillors||Takeshita (Heisei Kenky?kai)|
|Chief Deputy Secretary-General||Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi||Representatives||Nikai (Shisuikai)|
|Chairperson, Finance Committee||Ry? Shionoya||Representatives||Hosoda (Seiwa Seisaku Kenky?kai)|
|Chairperson, Election Strategy Committee||Taimei Yamaguchi||Representatives||Takeshita (Heisei Kenky?kai)|
|Chairperson, Party Organization and Campaign Headquarters||Itsunori Onodera||Representatives||Kishida (K?chikai)|
|Chairperson, Public Relations Headquarters||Haruko Arimura||Councillors||As? (Shik?kai)|
|Chairperson, Diet Affairs Committee||Hiroshi Moriyama||Representatives||Ishihara (Kinmirai Seiji Kenky?kai)|
|Chairperson, Party Ethics Committee||Seiichi Eto||Councillors||Nikai (Shisuikai)|
|Chairperson, General Assembly of Party Members of the House of Representatives||Hajime Funada||Representatives||Takeshita (Heisei Kenky?kai)|
|Chairperson, General Council||Tsutomu Sato||Representatives||As? (Shik?kai)|
|Chairperson, Joint Plenary Meeting of Party Members of Both Houses of the Diet||Hidehisa Otsuji||Councillors||Takeshita (Heisei Kenky?kai)|
|Chairperson, Policy Research Council||Hakubun Shimomura||Representatives||Hosoda (Seiwa Seisaku Kenky?kai)|
|Chairperson, General Assembly of Party Members of the House of Councillors||Masakazu Sekiguchi||Councillors||Takeshita (Heisei Kenky?kai)|
|Secretary-General for the LDP in the House of Councillors||Hiroshige Sek?||Councillors||Hosoda (Seiwa Seisaku Kenky?kai)|
|Executive Acting Secretary-General for the LDP in the House of Councillors||Masaharu Nakagawa||Councillors||Hosoda (Seiwa Seisaku Kenky?kai)|
|Chairperson, LDP Policy Board in the House of Councillors||Satoshi Ninoyu||Councillors||Takeshita (Heisei Kenky?kai)|
|Chairperson, LDP Diet Affairs Committee in the House of Councillors||Shinsuke Suematsu||Councillors||Hosoda (Seiwa Seisaku Kenky?kai)|
|President, Central Institute of Politics||Gen Nakatani||Representatives||None|
|Chairperson, Headquarters for Promoting Administrative Reform||Vacant|
|Chairperson, Headquarters for North Korean Abductions||Eriko Yamatani||Councillors||Hosoda (Seiwa Seisaku Kenky?kai)|
|Chairperson, Headquarters for Party and Political System Reform Implementation||Yasuhisa Shiozaki||Representatives||None|
|Chairperson, Headquarters for the Promotion of Revision of the Constitution||Seishir? Et?||Representatives||Hosoda (Seiwa Seisaku Kenky?kai)|
|Chairperson, Headquarters for Accelerating Reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake||Fukushiro Nukaga||Representatives||Takeshita (Heisei Kenky?kai)|
|Chairperson, Headquarters for the Action Committee for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games||Toshiaki Endo||Representatives||None|
|Chairperson, Headquarters for Overcoming Population Decline and Regional Revitalization||Takeo Kawamura||Representatives||Nikai (Shisuikai)|
|Chairperson, Headquarters for Promoting Dynamic Engagement of All Citizens||Kuniko Inoguchi||Councillors||As? (Shik?kai)|
|Chairperson, Headquarters for North Korea's Nuclear Tests||Toshihiro Nikai||Representatives||Nikai (Shisuikai)|
|Chairperson, Economic Strategy Headquarters for Building the Future Society based on AI||Ry? Shionoya||Representatives||Hosoda (Seiwa Seisaku Kenky?kai)|
|Chairperson, Headquarters for Promoting the Establishment of a Disaster Resilient Japan||Toshihiro Nikai||Representatives||Nikai (Shisuikai)|
|Chairperson, Bidding Headquarters for the EXPO 2025 Osaka||Toshihiro Nikai||Representatives||Nikai (Shisuikai)|
|Chairperson, Headquarters for the TPP, Japan-EU EPA and the Japan-U.S. TAG||Hiroshi Moriyama||Representatives||Ishihara (Kinmirai Seiji Kenky?kai)|
Since the genesis of the Liberal Democratic Party in 1955, factions have existed, but they have changed over time. Despite this change, factions in the party today can be traced back to their 1955 roots, a testament to the stability and institutionalized nature of Liberal Democratic Party factions.
The LDP had over five million party members in 1990. By December 2017 membership had dropped to approximately one million members.
Election statistics show that, while the LDP had been able to secure a majority in the twelve House of Representatives elections from May 1958 to February 1990, with only three exceptions (December 1976, October 1979, and December 1983), its share of the popular vote had declined from a high of 57.8 percent in May 1958 to a low of 41.8 percent in December 1976, when voters expressed their disgust with the party's involvement in the Lockheed scandal. The LDP vote rose again between 1979 and 1990. Although the LDP won an unprecedented 300 seats in the July 1986 balloting, its share of the popular vote remained just under 50 percent. The figure was 46.2 percent in February 1990. Following the three occasions when the LDP found itself a handful of seats shy of a majority, it was obliged to form alliances with conservative independents and the breakaway New Liberal Club. In a cabinet appointment after the October 1983 balloting, a non-LDP minister, a member of the New Liberal Club, was appointed for the first time. On 18 July 1993, lower house elections, the LDP fell so far short of a majority that it was unable to form a government.
In the upper house, the July 1989 election represented the first time that the LDP was forced into a minority position. In previous elections, it had either secured a majority on its own or recruited non-LDP conservatives to make up the difference of a few seats.
The political crisis of 1988-89 was testimony to both the party's strength and its weakness. In the wake of a succession of issues--the pushing of a highly unpopular consumer tax through the Diet in late 1988, the Recruit insider trading scandal, which tainted virtually all top LDP leaders and forced the resignation of Prime Minister Takeshita Noboru in April (a successor did not appear until June), the resignation in July of his successor, Uno S?suke, because of a sex scandal, and the poor showing in the upper house election--the media provided the Japanese with a detailed and embarrassing dissection of the political system. By March 1989, popular support for the Takeshita cabinet as expressed in public opinion polls had fallen to 9 percent. Uno's scandal, covered in magazine interviews of a "kiss and tell" geisha, aroused the fury of female voters.
Uno's successor, the eloquent if obscure Kaifu Toshiki, was successful in repairing the party's battered image. By January 1990, talk of the waning of conservative power and a possible socialist government had given way to the realization that, like the Lockheed affair of the mid-1970s, the Recruit scandal did not signal a significant change in who ruled Japan. The February 1990 general election gave the LDP, including affiliated independents, a comfortable, if not spectacular, majority: 275 of 512 total representatives.
In October 1991, Prime Minister Kaifu Toshiki failed to attain passage of a political reform bill and was rejected by the LDP, despite his popularity with the electorate. He was replaced as prime minister by Miyazawa Kiichi, a long-time LDP stalwart. Defections from the LDP began in the spring of 1992, when Hosokawa Morihiro left the LDP to form the Japan New Party. Later, in the summer of 1993, when the Miyazawa government also failed to pass political reform legislation, thirty-nine LDP members joined the opposition in a no-confidence vote. In the ensuing lower house election, more than fifty LDP members formed the Shinseit? and the Sakigake parties, denying the LDP the majority needed to form a government.
||Constituency / title||Term of office||Election results||Image||(term)|
|Took Office||Left Office|
|Preceding parties: Democratic Party (1954) & Liberal Party (1950)|
|Interim Leadership Committee (1955-1956)|
|15 November 1955||5 April 1956||None||himself 1954-56|
|28 January 1956|
|10 February 1956||5 April 1956|
|5 April 1956||14 December 1956||himself 1954-56|
|14 December 1956||21 March 1957||himself 1956-57|
|21 March 1957||14 July 1960||himself 1957-60|
|14 July 1960||1 December 1964||himself 1960-64|
|1 December 1964||5 July 1972||himself 1964-72|
|5 July 1972||4 December 1974||himself 1972-74|
|4 December 1974||23 December 1976||himself 1974-76|
|23 December 1976||1 December 1978||himself 1976-78|
(Died in office)
|1 December 1978||12 June 1980||himself 1978-80|
|Rep for ?ita 2nd||12 June 1980||15 July 1980||Acting||Ito |
|15 July 1980||25 November 1982||himself 1980-82|
|25 November 1982||31 October 1987||himself 1982-87|
|31 October 1987||2 June 1989||himself 1987-89|
|2 June 1989||8 August 1989||himself 1989|
|8 August 1989||30 October 1991||himself 1989-91|
|31 October 1991||29 July 1993||himself 1991-93|
|29 July 1993||1 October 1995||Hosokawa|
|1 October 1995||24 July 1998|
|24 July 1998||5 April 2000||himself 1998-2000|
|5 April 2000||24 April 2001||himself 2000-01|
|24 April 2001||20 September 2006||himself 2001-06|
|20 September 2006||26 September 2007||himself 2006-07|
|26 September 2007||22 September 2008||himself 2007-08|
|22 September 2008||16 September 2009
2009 - 28 September
|28 September 2009||26 September 2012||Hatoyama Y.|
|26 September 2012||14 September 2020|
|14 September 2020||30 September 2021
|Election||Leader||Candidates||Seats||Constituency votes||PR Block votes||Status|
|1983||Yasuhiro Nakasone||339||25,982,785||45.76%||LDP-NLC coalition|
|1993||Kiichi Miyazawa||285||22,999,646||36.62%||Opposition (until 1994)|
|LDP-JSP-NPS coalition (since 1994)|
|1996||Ryutaro Hashimoto||355||21,836,096||38.63%||18,205,955||32.76%||LDP-SDP-NPS coalition|
|2000||Yoshir? Mori||337||24,945,806||40.97%||16,943,425||28.31%||LDP-NKP-NCP coalition|
|2003||Junichiro Koizumi||336||26,089,326||43.85%||20,660,185||34.96%||LDP-NKP coalition|
|2005||Junichiro Koizumi||346||32,518,389||47.80%||25,887,798||38.20%||LDP-NKP coalition|
|2012||Shinzo Abe||337||25,643,309||43.01%||16,624,457||27.79%||LDP-NKP coalition|
|2014||Shinzo Abe||352||25,461,427||48.10%||17,658,916||33.11%||LDP-KM coalition|
|2017||Shinzo Abe||332||26,719,032||48.21%||18,555,717||33.28%||LDP-KM coalition|
|1956||Ichir? Hatoyama||11,356,874||39.7%||14,353,960||48.4%||Governing minority|
|1959||Nobusuke Kishi||12,120,598||41.2%||15,667,022||52.0%||Governing majority|
|1962||Hayato Ikeda||16,581,637||46.4%||17,112,986||47.1%||Governing majority|
|1965||Eisaku Sat?||17,583,490||47.2%||16,651,284||44.2%||Governing majority|
|1968||Eisaku Sat?||20,120,089||46.7%||19,405,546||44.9%||Governing majority|
|1971||Eisaku Sat?||17,759,395||44.5%||17,727,263||44.0%||Governing majority|
|1974||Kakuei Tanaka||23,332,773||44.3%||21,132,372||39.5%||Governing majority|
|1977||Takeo Fukuda||18,160,061||35.8%||20,440,157||39.5%||Governing minority|
|1980||Masayoshi ?hira||23,778,190||43.3%||24,533,083||42.5%||Governing majority|
|1983||Yasuhiro Nakasone||16,441,437||35.3%||19,975,034||43.2%||Governing majority|
|1986||Yasuhiro Nakasone||22,132,573||38.58%||26,111,258||45.07%||Governing majority|
|1989||S?suke Uno||15,343,455||27.32%||17,466,406||30.70%||Governing minority|
|1992||Kiichi Miyazawa||14,961,199||33.29%||20,528,293||45.23%||Governing minority (until 1993)|
|LDP-JSP-NPS governing majority (since 1994)|
|1995||Y?hei K?no||10,557,547||25.40%||11,096,972||27.29%||LDP-JSP-NPS governing majority|
|1998||Ryutaro Hashimoto||14,128,719||25.17%||17,033,851||30.45%||LDP-(Lib.-Komeit?) governing majority (until 2000)|
|LDP-Komeit?-NCP governing majority (since 2000)|
|2001||Junichiro Koizumi||21,114,727||38.57%||22,299,825||41.04%||LDP-Komeit?-NCP governing majority (until 2003)|
|LDP-Komeit? governing majority (since 2003)|
|2004||Junichiro Koizumi||16,797,686||30.03%||19,687,954||35.08%||LDP-Komeit? governing majority|
|2007||Shinzo Abe||16,544,696||28.1%||18,606,193||31.35%||LDP-Komeit? governing minority (until 2009)|
|Minority (since 2009)|
|2010||Sadakazu Tanigaki||14,071,671||24.07%||19,496,083||33.38%||Minority (until 2012)|
|LDP-Komeit? governing minority (since 2012)|
|2013||Shinzo Abe||18,460,404||34.7%||22,681,192||42.7%||LDP-Komeit? governing majority|
|2016||Shinzo Abe||20,114,833||35.9%||22,590,793||39.9%||LDP-Komeit? governing majority|
|2019||Shinzo Abe||17,712,373||35.37%||20,030,330||39.77%||LDP-Komeit? governing majority|
Abe's center-right Liberal Democratic Party (LDP),
In Japan, populist and extreme right-wing nationalism has found a home within the political establishment.
Another sign of the rise of the uyoku dantai's ideas is the growing power of the Nippon Kaigi. The organization is the largest far-right group in Japan and has heavy lobbying clout with the conservative LDP; 18 of the 20 members of Shinzo Abe's cabinet were once members of the group.
Of those three victories, the first election in December 2012 was a rout of the leftist Democratic Party of Japan and it thrust the more powerful Lower House of Parliament firmly into the hands of the long-incumbent Liberal Democratic Party under Abe. The second election in December 2014 further normalized Japan's lurch to the far right, giving the ruling coalition a supermajority of 2/3 of the seats in the Lower House.
Mr. Abe is strongly supported by the far right wing of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which hews to tradition and tends toward insularity.
... of the war and viewed the 1947 Constitution as illegitimate as it was written not by the Japanese people but forced upon the country by the U.S. Occupation Authority. Abe shares these beliefs, in common with many within the LDP's far right.
... 12 Seirankai: an extreme-right faction formed within the LDP in July 1973; after Kim Dae Jung was abducted from ...
When Abe appointed five female ministers in September, two of which were forced to step down over scandals, a number of political commentators viewed the move with some cynicism, suggesting that the prime minister didn't pay much attention to the qualifications of the candidates. Most of the women he chose were ultra-conservatives such as Eriko Yamatani, minister in charge of the North Korea abductee issue.
Electoral system changes and three years in opposition helped ultra-conservative lawmakers and lobby groups strengthen their clout in the LDP.
A union of centrist and rightwing parties created with US support after the second world war
The LDP is a broad party whose members share a commitment to economic growth and free trade, but whose other political beliefs span from the center to the far right.
The shifting dynamics around the new era name (geng? ) offers an opportunity to understand how the domestic politics of the LDP's project of ultranationalism is shaping a new Japan and a new form of nationalism.
Even though much of the Japanese public does not agree with the LDP's nationalist platform, the party won big electoral victories by promising to replace the DPJ's weakness with strong leadership - particularly on the economy, but also in foreign affairs.
In Japan, populist and extreme right-wing nationalism has found a home within the political establishment.
As a new emperor takes the throne, prime minister Abe is consolidating his ultranationalist "beautiful Japan" project. But can he overcome a falling population and stagnating economy?