Spotlight: Japan's Elections

Dai Kurokawa / EPA

Modern Japan is not known for embracing radical change. But in elections to the lower house of Japan's parliament on Aug. 30, voters swept out of power the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which had ruled Japan for all but 11 months of the past half-century. The opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) won 308 of the 480 Diet seats at stake.

DPJ leader Yukio Hatoyama, who will be voted in as Prime Minister later this month, said the election represented "the first-ever proper change in government in the history of our constitutional politics." He leads a party cobbled together from groups...

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