Last November, two months after the inauguration of the Cabinet of Prime Minister Taro Aso, I predicted, in an opinion piece for the American magazine Science, that a sweeping change in Japanese government was imminent.

I wrote, "Perhaps the public, sensing the need for change, is pessimistic about the possibilities (of change under the conservative government), given that Japan has been so resistant to change over the past decade."

Like it or not, my prediction proved right. On Aug. 30, the Japanese public voted to give birth to the new government led by the opposition Democratic Party of Japan by casting off the Aso government and putting an end to more than a half-century of the de facto monopoly of government by the conservative Liberal Democratic Party.