Looks like the Japanese government is headed for a frustrating, and potentially ineffectual, phase after Sunday’s election left the nation’s parliament in a “twisted” condition. That’s an actual term, not a value judgment. –KA

AP via Google News:

The Democratic Party-led coalition enjoys a comfortable majority in the powerful lower house, but it lost control of the upper house in an election this week. If past experience holds, the twisted parliament is a formula for policy gridlock, because both houses must approve legislation.

The predicament, which has plagued earlier governments too, comes at a time when Japan badly needs action. The world’s second-largest economy faces serious challenges, from reducing its bulging budget deficit and reviving growth to fighting deflation and shoring up its social security system as the population ages and shrinks.

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