It has been argued that the Japan Socialist Party (JSP) declined owing to voter dealignment, stemming from four major issues. First, the JSP was challenged by an adherence to ideology making it seem inflexible to the electorate and it therefore lost the support of voters (Chapter 3). This was compounded by a general dealignment and increase in the non-partisan voter particularly from the left-ofcentre voter (Chapter 1). Third, the JSP declined because one of its main backbones of support, the labour unions, stopped supporting it. The increasing weakness of the party meant it was no longer as effective in facilitating access to the policy-making arena for unions. Moreover, the unions became stronger and independent as a result of the creation of Rengo-(Chapter 4). Added to these factors was that of institutional reform. The Lower House electoral system was completely changed in 1994 (Chapter 5). This new system did have certain benefits for the JSP. Prior to the 1996 election, the party split and the PR part of the vote sustained the smaller and weaker JSP. Nonetheless, the electoral system, as a whole, did benefit the strongest party, the LDP. It was a difficult system for the opposition parties to navigate and the need for an organised campaign became more important than ever. All the factors discussed were permissive rather than actively promoting the DPJ’s emergence.