Do the 400-plus members of the Democratic Party of Japan in the Diet understand the serious meaning of the loss their party was handed on July 11?
When a party loses a national election, it means that the voters have rejected the idea that the party is qualified to govern. The August 30, 2009, election results were also a rejection of the party in power. If we don't wake up to this reality, the future is bleak.
The voters have rejected the DPJ-run government, which held power since September 2009, beginning with the Hatoyama administration. The three leaders during this reign were former DPJ Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa, former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Prime Minister Naoto Kan (formerly deputy prime minister).
The DPJ has to accept this cold reality. The DPJ's first chapter (which began in September 2009 with Ozawa, Hatoyama and Kan) is over, and the second chapter must begin with a big change of direction. Foreign Minister Okada, Transport Minister Maehara, Chief Cabinet Secretary Sengoku and the heads of the party's various branches need to face the same fate as Ozawa, Hatoyama and Kan. The new leadership needs to remove any remnant of the Ozawa-Hatoyama-Kan regime and rebuild the party. The way forward for the DPJ is to clean house and install a new group of leaders.