I get the sense that Japan is looking at another substantive shift in its political game; though nothing transformational to be sure, at least not at this point. Some 9 members of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) have resigned as a result of the party's decision to increase the GST (consumption tax) to 10%.
I totally agree with their position. There is no question that the Japanese government needs to raise taxes to pay off its 'internal' debts, but taxing consumption is not the way to proceed. It ought to be taxing assets - most particularly land. Probably the best approach would be to totally cut off funding for the provincial governments and allow them to raise local government rates. This would offer some form of competitive pressure, as well as make these governments independently accountable.
It looks like we might be looking at a 'no confidence' motion in the Japanese PM, and thus a new election...unless a new political leader emerges. I'd say we might be looking at a return to the alternate party.
It must however be acknowledged that this could be considered 'posturing' by local party members trying to save face in their local electorates. i.e. Essentially such posturing entails playing musical chairs or erecting Chinese walls, where you resign from one party, set up another, and pretty well function as an pseudo-independent faction. How long can this go on? Well, musical chairs can go on for a long time if you keep changing political candidates at every election. Good luck with that game!
See the latest news at Japan Times.