To no one's great surprise, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori has dismissed parliament and called new elections for June 25. It is also no surprise that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is expected to form the next government, as it has formed nearly all of them for the past 45 years, while once again refusing to do anything significant about restructuring a deeply troubled economy. In other words, yet more of the same, however over-familiar and inadequate that may be. Perhaps the only lingering question is whether Mr Mori will remain in office. If his party fares poorly enough, he will not be back - dismissed instead, as one Japanese voter has said, as 'a great physique but little inside it'. His assorted verbal blunders, including recent comments reminiscent of Japan's nationalistic and aggressive past, have brought his popularity ratings down to politically dangerous lows. Japanese politics are difficult for outsiders to grasp. Despite having several rival factions, life inside the ruling LDP generally involves getting along by going along. Its politicians plod their way toward the top like civil servants, receiving and dispensing financial favours along the way while striving hard to avoid original ideas or imaginative policies. Prime ministers come and go, but few are remembered for long. For many years, this system has failed the nation. The economy has been in recession for most of the past decade and shows few signs of coming to life. Outside analysts say serious reform is needed to break down rigid business ways, introduce more internal competition and relax de facto trade barriers. Some of this has been done. Yet the LDP lacks the political courage to move faster for this would require confronting special interest groups with financial links to the party. Instead, Japan wastes huge sums on public works which create enormous public debts, but do not repair the faltering economy. The unsurprising forecast is that the next government, whoever heads it, will launch yet another deficit spending programme while also avoiding reform.