The first second-chamber (House of Councilors) election since the Democratic Party of Japan ended the Liberal Democrats’ long run of power went badly for the party. It was not a drubbing, but the LDP won more of the seats at stake–especially in the single-seat races where the two parties went head-to-head.
The House of Councilors is elected by fixed six-year terms, half every three years. It does not have the power to remove a government or veto a budget, but in all other respects it is a powerful second chamber.
In less than a year in power, the DPJ has already had to change prime ministers and now this defeat. Not a promising beginning for Japan’s supposed new two-party era.