Regime Change

Japan's Ruling Party Ousted

On Sunday, the Democratic Party of Japan won a landslide victory—more than 300 of the 480 seats in the lower house of parliament—against the pro-U.S. Liberal Democratic Party, which has ruled Japan for virtually 54 years, the Associated Press reports. The election is widely believed to be a referendum on the economy, which has a historic unemployment rate of 5.7 percent. Yukio Hatoyama, who will likely be elected prime minister when parliament convenes in September, has a hefty job cut out for him. In addition to reviving the world's second-largest economy, he'll be coping with a rapidly aging population projected to fall to 115 million in 2030 and less than 100 million by mid-century. It's a tall order for a political party that is only 11 years old, with a mere handful of players who have served in top government positions.