This is a major defeat for Shinzo Abe’s LDP, who have recently been embroiled in a favoritism scandal that likely is responsible for the party’s poor turnout.
It seems like the biggest long term impact of the LDP’s unpopularity is that Abe (Shinzo, not Lincoln) will have a tougher time amending the constitution allowing Japan to have an offensive military force. Although it was the Americans who put it in there, I’m fairly certain that basically any American administration would see the empowerment of Japan’s military as a potential asset in a war with China or Russia. Other than that, the US doesn’t really have too much to worry about here, since our relationship with Japan will be rock solid either way, because we like to buy their shit and they like to sell us shit.
This take might be a little spicy, but I think it’s worth noting that associating with Donald Trump is bad news for non-American electoral candidates. Nigel Farage’s former party, the UKIP, and the French Front National, have both underperformed in recent elections despite high hopes for the rising “wave” of Euroskepticism and nationalism across Europe. Plus, it seems like Theresa May’s friendly attitude toward Trump may have angered some voters over in the UK. Considering that Abe has appeared with Trump publicly numerous times expressing Japan’s commitment to a Japan-US alliance, he might be suffering in the polls just because Trump’s stink got on him.
Trump implications aside, I think the big takeaway here is that things are getting shaken up a bit everywhere. So if you’re in a country that seems to be going in a super weird political direction, you can relax because it’s probably just a weird transitional period — or the start of a brutal dictatorship. Fifty, fifty.
Another possible trend is that things are heating up in general in east Asia. South Korea’s a mess, North Korea is North Korea, Hong Kong’s trying to sidestep China’s impending takeover, what great fun. Plus you can’t forget that the Philippines is basically a warzone right now, and behind all that there’s the building tension in the South China Sea, in which the Chinese are still building lots of artificial islands and landing strips and whatnot.
Frankly, this is the last thing you need in the summer. Especially with climate change, things get too hot, and people get dehydrated and irritable. Dehydrated and irritable are not good things to be when you’re in an eight way Mexican standoff. What’s more, to tie this back into the Tokyo elections, I think that incumbent parties probably do worse when the weather is hot on election day, since more people are going to be pissed off, and people who are pissed off don’t vote for incumbents. Abe’s gotta just blame this one on the heat, force a few resignation, and call the next election in December. Problem solved.