WASHINGTON – Proponents of the Obama administration’s “pivot,” or rebalance of attention and resources, toward Asia should be heartened by the results of Japan’s parliamentary election. The Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) landslide victory in the Lower House on Dec. 16 augurs well for a reinvigorated relationship between the United States and Japan.
The reasons are threefold. First, the LDP is experienced in U.S.-Japan alliance management, much more so than the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which had ousted the LDP from power in September 2009 after half a century. Although the DPJ was well-intentioned, its tenure the past three years was plagued with intraparty bickering, friction with the professional bureaucracy and a generally ineffectual and non-strategic foreign policy.
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