One of the quirks—well, really, the quirk—of Japan’s political system is that the same party basically always wins. But it looks like that just may change. Prime Minister Taro Aso had been seeking to avoid calling an election because polls indicate the Liberal Democratic Party will lose, but after facing some local setbacks he’s decided to go call one raising the prospect that the opposition Democratic Party will take over. Brad Plumer says there’s an important climate angle here:
The likely winner of the election, the Democratic Party of Japan, isn’t exactly a “liberal” party in the American sense of the word. But it is quite a bit greener than the LDP—or at least it has been in opposition. Earlier this year, when Aso’s government announced a goal of cutting greenhouse-gas emissions 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, the DPJ criticized the targets as much too weak, calling instead for a 30 percent cut from 2005 levels.
Brad also offers a link to this article on robots getting laid off in recession-ravaged Japan. That seems like the kind of thing likely to lead to a robot rebellion.