House of the Rising Sun: Japan’s Election System and Political Landscape

Photo Credit: Ned Snowman/

On April 28 2024, the ballot on three by-elections for the House of Representatives (Lower House) took place amidst a big turmoil in the political funding scandal of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)’s factions as they were not able to even field candidates for two out of the three constituencies. It meant disgracefully forfeited matches for the party. The LDP was not even able to secure the only by-election district where they fielded their own endorsed candidate in Shimane Prefecture. It turned to be a big blow to Prime Minister Kishida. Given this situation, the possibility of a rumoured June snap election before his current term as the LDP president officially expires this September, has become very little. As a matter of fact, PM Kishida on the morning of April 30, during an extraordinary press briefing, commented on a snap election, “(I am) Not thinking (about it) at all.” No one can foresee the destiny of his administration and his grand strategy for his political victory. The opposition parties remain divided and there is no viable opposition. This gives the LDP a great advantage to win over them against the backdrop of general public’s resentment feelings toward the party’s financial mishandling.

With the LDP’s long seasoned political skills and opposition in disarray, the chances are still high for the LDP to manage to win the next general election. Nevertheless, PM Kishida’s close aide, LDP Acting Secretary-General Seiji Kihara, had expressed a grave concern for a possible change of government, this fear spread within the party as they could not win their stronghold constituency in Shimane, which they had secured consecutively since 1996, first time ever.  

Despite the abovementioned election results and looming uncertainties, the LDP has had a long history of electoral victory in Japan. However, what appears to be a strong democratic party yielding its historic victories to popular public support is actually a scheme rooted in calculative decisions and tactical campaigning. This paper explains and analyses how Japan’s electoral system functions, and how the LDP has been so successful at snatching electoral victory in the Lower House, and why the LDP’s biggest fear are their current supporters.

Implications of the Taiwan Strait on ASEAN Economies

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) had explicitly warned the Taiwanese voters against Lai Chin-te and depicted him as a risk to their interests with immediate intention of declaring independence.
The candidate of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party, however, is elected to take office and will be inaugurated in May. The persistent difference in perspectives raises concerns about potential tensions in cross-strait relations and the status quo.

This paper aims to analyze the economic impact of the Taiwan Strait tensions on ASEAN economies under two scenarios of escalation vis-à-vis a maintenance of the status quo: China quarantining Taiwan or China invading Taiwan.

Fertility Decline and Socioeconomic Transformations

This research paper aims to study the impact of fertility rates on various socio-economic indicators including poverty level, labor force composition, education level and spending, and innovation in China, India, and Indonesia.

The fertility rate, the average number of children a woman has during her reproductive years, is an important demographic factor that can significantly influence a nation’s development trajectory. This study seeks to highlight the relationship between fertility rates and key socio-economic indicators by analyzing data from these three large and diverse countries, China, India, and Indonesia.

Additionally, this paper will look at how societies can maintain their fertility rate to a sustainable level.

Combating Chinese Influence in the Indo-Pacific

This paper aims to understand the diplomatic strategy that the United States has taken in the Indo-Pacific region to combat China’s influence and analyzes how geopolitical tensions from China have changed their methodology. China’s influence over the Indo-Pacific continues to threaten the sovereignty of countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

This is especially evident in Vietnam and the Philippines which will be the main focuses of this paper. To understand the U.S.’ methods for combating China, three main forms of diplomacy were analyzed: Trade, Defense aid, and Development aid.

This paper suggests that the current diplomatic methods that the U.S. takes have contributed to a competition between the U.S. and China for dominance in the region. As well as that China’s growing aggression over territory claims have led to stronger relations between the U.S., its allies, and ASEAN countries.

Photo Credit: “230523-N-NX635-1180” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by U.S. Pacific Fleet