DPJ leader Yukio Hatoyama says he is ready for the challenge
The election defeat of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) after 54 years of nearly unbroken rule and the landslide victory of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has met a cautious welcome in newspapers around in the world.
The press in Japan and the United States voice the hope that the change of power will make Japan's staid political system more competitive, democratic and dynamic, while Chinese papers look forward to an easier ride in the two countries' difficult relationship. Commentators everywhere, however, also caution against expecting too much in the way of radical change, particularly in Japan's traditionally close ties with the US.
The media in North Korea did not directly comment on the election, but an editorial in the main state newspaper the morning after the vote renewed calls for Japan to apologise for abuses committed in Korea during World War II.
EDITORIAL IN THE JAPAN TIMES
The election's outcome should not be interpreted as a simple "yes" vote for the DPJ, despite its landslide victory. It was, in fact, a "no" vote for the LDP... Clearly, the DPJ government faces a tough road ahead... In the field of foreign policy, the DPJ government must ensure relations remain on a positive footing with other nations - especially the United States.
EDITORIAL IN JAPAN'S MAINICHI DAILY NEWS
How the LDP will address voters' dissatisfaction and distrust in the party that have been accumulated over the years - which many LDP candidates bitterly felt during their campaign - is to be tested.
DANIEL SNEIDER IN THE WASHINGTON POST
This is more than a simple shift in power. It ushers in a competitive, two-party democracy in which politicians and their constituents may finally have more say in shaping Japanese policy than bureaucrats and businessmen. Neither Japanese voters nor the DPJ seek radical change ... Some worry that a DPJ government may undermine the US-Japanese security alliance. But Ozawa and the DPJ are deeply committed to a strong relationship, even if they take a different path now and then.
EDITORIAL IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Yesterday Japanese voters did the unthinkable and threw out the LDP in a landslide. We wish we could be more confident that this healthy transfer of power to the opposition will mean better policies ... New leaders sometimes surprise, of course, and the magnitude of the DPJ's victory will give it room to be more daring.
EDITORIAL IN CHINA DAILY
The widely expected win of the DPJ in the parliamentary election is an event of great significance. For it would not only end more than 50 years of almost unbroken rule by the LDP, but also herald more promising prospects for the long-term development of Sino-Japanese relations... Any expectation of a drastic change in Japan's foreign policy would be unrealistic... With relations across the Taiwan Straits improving, the new Japanese administration should clarify that Taiwan is not included in its sphere of 'surrounding areas'.
ZHANG ZHIXIN IN CHINA'S XINMIN WANBAO
One can expect that the DPJ cabinet will be more strategic and resolute than the LDP in terms of developing friendly Sino-Japanese relations... Of course, we still need to be cautious while looking forwards to the DPJ's China policy and we must not be blind and careless.
LEE CHI-DONG IN SOUTH KOREA'S YONHAP
There is speculation that Japan's new centre-left government will be more flexible than the outgoing administration in dealing with historical and territorial disputes with Korea, a legacy of Japan's 1910-50 colonization of the peninsula.
EDITORIAL IN NORTH KOREA'S NODONG SINMUN
Growing in the international arena are voices denouncing the crimes related to "comfort women" for the imperial Japanese army. Japan is working hard to gloss over the above-said crimes without adequately redeeming its inglorious past, but their victims will never pardon it ... For Japan to gain international trust, it must squarely break with its crooked past.
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