In a Lower House by-election on Sunday in the Kagoshima No. 3 constituency, a Liberal Democratic Party candidate, also supported by Komeito, defeated a candidate of the People’s New Party — a coalition partner of the Democratic Party of Japan — who received full support from the DPJ. The DPJ’s defeat in the first national-level election for the Noda administration is certain to deal a great blow to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. It shows that the recent Cabinet reshuffle failed to buoy his administration, while the scandal involving recently resigned Justice Minister Keishu Tanaka drove down its popularity.

But the LDP shouldn’t be too optimistic about its prospects in the next Lower House election, to be held within a year, because its candidate won only by a mere 5,669 votes despite expectations that it would win by an overwhelming margin. The LDP should not be overconfident on the strength of the by-election result and should not focus on pursuing partisan interests in the Diet.

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