To: Crecente
From: Bashcraft

Big national election here over the weekend. The Democratic Party ended nearly 50-years-plus of largely continuous rule by the Liberal Democratic Party. The name "Liberal Democratic Party" is a misnomer of sorts as the party isn't liberal, but rather right of center — conservative. The winning Democratic Party is left of center.

With the economy in the toilet, Japan is looking for something different — the Liberal Democratic Party had a more tangible platform, I think. They ran on ideas like substantial subsidies for families with kids and making the national highways toll-free. The LDP, however, ran on the platform of experience and 50-plus-years of governance. The party did help pull the country out of the ashes of WWII, so it's been hard for many to vote for the opposition in the past.

Political ads are quite interesting here. While they seem to be largely "attack ads" in the States, the actual commercials aren't attack ads, but rather, they show the politician and he says something like, "Our party will protect the safety and peace of Japan." Something like that. The actual speeches they give on the street via loudspeakers is where the smack talk comes in.

Big change for Japan, and probably a super convenient way for historians to divide Japanese history.

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