politics

Abe re-elected LDP leader, setting stage to become Japan's longest-serving PM

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By Linda Sieg and Kiyoshi Takenaka

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Who wants to bet they will change the law that a PM can serve 4 terms.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Everybody in the photo has been promised a a cushy job (when they should all in truth be retired and playing shogi with each other)...and all the little benefits that goes with their position. Who wants to lead anyway?

No wonder they are and smiles and banzai's.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

An aging society governed (or controlled) by an aging (or is it over-aged?) government.

Agree, they should sit back, relax, play shogo, go t an onsen or do whatever .....

.... but please, no more politics!!

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Who wants to bet they will change the law that a PM can serve 4 terms.

No need. It's a party internal rule not a law.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

What? Really? He won! Well we are all saved. The economy is about to take off, and the abductees will be coming home soon. Also, get the moving trucks ready as people will be moving back to the four disputed islands that the Russians have held. The constitution, that is a done deal. And, we will all be getting raises and our taxes will be cut. This is just a great day for Japan.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

It’s pretty easy to ensure ones leadership when they stack the cabinet with all their crony mates. The next thing he will do is a cabinet reshuffle and anyone who voted against him will be relegated to the backbench or to local politics.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

"MarkX"

black joke, kidding, sarcasm, RIGHT???

Or just dreams that won't come true?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Not many WOMEN on the stage.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

How disappointing. Not that his challenger was looking so much better, but it just confirms that the ruling class has no inclination to punish the corruption.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Mr. Abe has done a good job overall, so ... it's good that he won. If it isn't broken, don't fix it, as they say.

JonathanJo Today  04:21 pm JST

Not many WOMEN on the stage.

They're perfectly free to run for office, and women (as well as men) are perfectly free to vote for them. If you're implying that discrimination is the cause, well, that's not it. There are more women than men in the general population; men are actually the minority. If women don't run for office or don't win elections, it's partially because women aren't supporting their fellow women.

maybeperhapsyes Today  04:04 pm JST

Everybody in the photo has been promised a a cushy job

That's politics, I'm afraid. It's not like the LDP are the only ones guilty of it.

(when they should all in truth be retired and playing shogi with each other)

What makes you think they all play shogi? Because they're Japanese? Now now, we don't need the stereotypes.

-17 ( +5 / -22 )

HakmanToday 04:55 pm JST

Mr. Abe has done a good job overall...

Really? I wasn't aware that wages had shot up, or domestic demand and spending had surged, or that the deficit had been slashed. Or maybe he's only done a good job in the sense that Japan is still in the same middling-to-poor condition it was in when he took office? I'd expect something a bit more impressive from someone who's been in power for six years with solid parliamentary majorities for most of them and no effective opposition.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

They're perfectly free to run for office, and women (as well as men) are perfectly free to vote for them. If you're implying that discrimination is the cause, well, that's not it

Hakman - you seem very convinced that discrimination is not the cause of the extraordinarily low number of women who make up the government, which suggests you know that the casue is. Please enlighten us.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

HakmanToday 04:55 pm JST

**maybeperhapsyesToday 04:04 pm JST**(when they should all in truth be retired and playing shogi with each other)

What makes you think they all play shogi?

That's not really what the commenter was saying though, is it.

Because they're Japanese? Now now, we don't need the stereotypes.

We don't need strawman arguments either.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Thanks

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why they don’t describe Japanese government as a regime?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Why they don’t describe Japanese government as a regime

Simple. Because there's no real journalism in a despotic state.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

"This is how old we are!"

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Surprise! Other than speak well I don’t know what else he achieved. I very much fear the next term. Mr. Abe, quo vadis?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

BTW, Mr. Ishiba, I didn’t really see you put up a good fight. I kind of felt you were put there for a show; a pretend democratic election. Nothing convincing nowadays in this land of the Rising Sun.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

One quotation for Abe: serve the people.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The best news in Japan today: No surprise! Same as yesterday and same will be tomorrow. Ishiba silence of the graveyard and Abe reborn to LDP lawmakers greets what they want to do and follow the "master" Mr. Abe.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

President for life!

Hopeully the resistance starts today.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

PM Abe 's victory was a forgone conclusion . He should now get ready for 4th term also.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

BANZAI! Fantastic news for Japan! I am so happy right now, and I think Constitution reform will be realized in this next Term of PM Abe. Watch Stock market and economy soar even more!

Mr. Abe has done a good job overall, so ... it's good that he won. If it isn't broken, don't fix it, as they say.

I agree 200 percent. PM Abe, the Fighter from Yamaguchi, will make history to become longest serving PM in History. I am drinking sparkling saké right now to celebrate!

-18 ( +4 / -22 )

Wiki lists the length of office for JP prime ministers in days, and that count is 2716 for the first one ( from 1885 ), and rank no.5 for the present one at 2457 days.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

why can't WE vote against him?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I counted 6 primes not lasting 100 days, a prince among these.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kazumichi

why can't WE vote against him?

You can if you are a member of his political party, LDP. This is an internal election to choose LDP boss, not Japan's PM.

Japanese political system is created based on UK model. So PM is not elected through direct votes by the people. People vote for the Diet members, who then choose PM. So, in general, but not necessarily, the boss of the largest party becomes Japan's PM.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@Hakman - Mr. Abe has done a good job overall,

Is that so? Do you know something I don't? He has done nothing to increase child or aged care. He has done nothing to reduce the public debt. He has done nothing about getting more women into the workforce. He has done nothing about increasing family payments. He has done nothing 'good' period! The only things he has done are, increased sales tax, which resulted in a drop in consumer spending of 10-25% depending on the sector. He gave his crony corporate mates tax cuts and 'urged' them to pass on as salary increases, which never happened, of course. And, he has borrowed money from the BOJ twice, further increasing the public debt. What exactly has he done a good job on? He played golf with a couple of other country leaders. Is that what you are referring to as 'a good job'? He is a fraudulent bag of hot air full of hollow promises to gain public favor. He has not completed one of his campaign promises in seven years of office. Talk to any small business owner about this Abenomics BS and be prepared to hear a serious and factual rant!

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Ishiba did pretty well against Abe. The 45% of LDP members have voted for Ishiba, against Abe. Abe's group failed to achieve their goal: "an overwhelming victory over Ishba: greater than 70%." Instead, Abe got only 55% even within his own party. So Abe cannot claim his policies to be "mandated." The next 3 years will not be easy for him.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

”PM Abe, the Fighter from Yamaguchi”.

Is Abe from Yamaguchi or a member of the Yamaguchi?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

One quotation for Abe: serve the people.

He's serving the people all right: serving them up on a platter for the LDP to feast on and take advantage of.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I have always thought 3 years is no way enough for someone to be able to change anything major in our country. Time is way too short. At least he earn himself more time. Abe is not that bad, even though media constantly try to drag him down through the mud. You can say what you want about him,but at least he try hard for our nation. It doesn’t always turn out well, but at least he did more than any of the previous ones. He still have many supports among the people. Most that complain just don’t truly understand the situation in our country nor experience all the things that happen so far. His opponents and the media try really hard to find any tiny little bit of weaknesses to discredits him. Whenever you see that that they targeted someone this hard,you will know they feared him and that person is doing some real changes to shake their interest.

So many non-Japanese like to make fun and insult him.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

In my opinion, Abe is the best among existing alternatives. For those of you who will disagree, i urge you to properly examine all alternatives and put things into context. Then again, it also depends on your overall understanding of economics and politics.

For me personally, there are 3 main reasons for supporting Abe among the alternatives.

1 - Immigration and foreign labor. No other PM has ever done more, so fast, to make it easy for businesses to hire foreign labor, and to loosen the immigration restrictions, as well as pledging to allow almost half a million foreign workers to enter the labor market in just 2 years.

2 - Privatization. Abe has pledged to privatize many infrastructure companies, such as airports, sewage system and the water supply system. This will cut spending, reduce bureaocracy and administration, and increase efficiency and standards of living.

3 - Increase retirement age. This is necessary for many reasons.

As a bonus, i also support the constitutional amendments because i think it's important for Japan to have an independent foreign policy, and they can't have that without an active military.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

HiroToday 09:35 pm JST

I have always thought 3 years is no way enough for someone to be able to change anything major in our country. Time is way too short.

True, having party leadership elections every two or three years is a bit stupid.

At least he earn himself more time. Abe is not that bad, even though media constantly try to drag him down through the mud. You can say what you want about him,but at least he try hard for our nation. It doesn’t always turn out well...

It almost never does, in fact.

...but at least he did more than any of the previous ones.

Well, he's had almost six years in which to do it compared to one or two years for previous PMs, and he doesn't really have a lot to show for it.

He still have many supports among the people.

Really? I always thought he was barely tolerated because he seemed the least useless and incompetent of the choices on offer.

Most that complain just don’t truly understand the situation in our country nor experience all the things that happen so far. His opponents and the media try really hard to find any tiny little bit of weaknesses to discredits him. Whenever you see that that they targeted someone this hard,you will know they feared him and that person is doing some real changes to shake their interest.

They don't have to try that hard, really. He gives them plenty to work with.

So many non-Japanese like to make fun and insult him.

If I thought he was a competent, principled politician who owed his position to merit and actual popular support I wouldn't say a thing against him.

IloveCoffeeToday 10:01 pm JST

In my opinion, Abe is the best among existing alternatives.

Looking at what you say about immigration, privatisation and foreign policy I don't see anything especially visionary or outstanding about what he's done there that other politicians wouldn't also believe in or couldn't also achieve.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

absolutely everyone wearing the same suit, literally same old same old

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Is the longest serving PM also a most amatuer ?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

IloveCoffee, hahaha, you are not a politician, are you ? The art of election is to disqualify all qualified people first.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Anyway, good for Japan. Wish Abe the best, and hopefully he is matured.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Congratulations PM Abe, your victory is well deserved. With your continous leadership, the constitution revision will go smoothly and Japan will become powerful enough to crush enemy invasions in Asia once the military is strengthened further. Please build some nuclear deterrents to ensure the prevention of war or enemy invasions will go smoothly. With you as leader, the economy will flourish and the stock market will go up.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Mahesvara-of-Japan, which Northeast Asian nation is invaded ? What does Japan do about it ?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't know why, but I am rather amused at the number of folks here who think that because Abe won his parties leadership vote that he "automatically" becomes PM.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The LDP has about 1.07 million members, that are about 1 % of the nation's eligible voters. Since the president of the LDP eventually becomes a prime minister, it means only 1 % of the population has a right to vote for a prime minister. 

Mr. Abe, don't you think this is really an absurd system?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Addendum:

It's natural then that a mood to give up is born among the general public, thus  alienating many of them from politics, because they know from the beginning that their voice is not listened to.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

 Since the president of the LDP eventually becomes a prime minister, it means only 1 % of the population has a right to vote for a prime minister. 

No, that is purely an assumption. It's only because the LDP controls both houses of the Diet that the leader of the LDP is elected as PM in a parliamentary vote.

People misunderstand the system here and make false assumptions based upon that. Abe COULD be elected president of the LDP and NOT be elected as PM if he made that choice!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Mahesvara-of-Japan",

YES, you are so right, except you didn't write your sentence all the way to the end.

So let me edit it - just a little:

*"....... and the stock market will go up ...... in smoke."*

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Mahesvara of Japan; Crush any invasion? Are you aware that the availability military personnel in China is larger than the Japanese population of Japan?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

With your continous leadership, the constitution revision will go smoothly and Japan will become powerful enough to crush enemy invasions in Asia once the military is strengthened further. Please build some nuclear deterrents to ensure the prevention of war or enemy invasions will go smoothly.

You do realise that the enemy invasion happened over 70 years ago & the occupiers are still here?

The idea of a "continuous" leader is becoming very popular in this region. The Kim dynasty, Xi across the water and now Abe.

If you love Japan and are a patriot (not a nationalist) you'll resist the militarisation of this great country and reject the growing authoritarianism of Abe.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yubaru (Today 07:52 am JST)

Theoretically, the president of the LDP and prime-ministership can be assumed by different persons. But there's been no such case in the past.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

since1981Today 08:43 am JST

Mahesvara of Japan; Crush any invasion? Are you aware that the availability military personnel in China is larger than the Japanese population of Japan?

They can spend all the money, recruit all the men and buy all the hi-grade military gear they like, Japan doesn't stand a chance in any serious military escalation with clueless non-entities like Abe and Aso in charge.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

voiceofokinawaToday 06:47 am JST

The LDP has about 1.07 million members, that are about 1 % of the nation's eligible voters. Since the president of the LDP eventually becomes a prime minister, it means only 1 % of the population has a right to vote for a prime minister. 

Mr. Abe, don't you think this is really an absurd system?

It's the Westminster system, or a variant thereof, and like it or not given how hard it is to make any constitutional amendments it won't be changing any time soon. The voters who aren't LDP members just have to bide their time until the next Lower House election. I suppose it would be lot less frustrating though, if parties just didn't bother with these stupid leadership elections every two or three years - they don't have them in the UK but party leaders will face leadership challenges if the members are losing confidence in them. Anyway, as we learned in 2016 presidential-style elections do not necessarily yield better results. America now has Donald Trump, France has Emmanuel Macron, Russia has Vladimir Putin and I don't think any of those countries are really a whole lot better off for it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

An altered Westminster system it may be. But if it weren't idealistic, unable to reflect people's real wishes and voices, it should be revised right then and there. The U.S. system can't be a role model, nor can the Russian one.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

voiceofokinawaToday 11:10 am JST

An altered Westminster system it may be. But if it weren't idealistic, unable to reflect people's real wishes and voices, it should be revised right then and there. 

Maybe it should be. But it won't be.

The U.S. system can't be a role model, nor can the Russian one.

Obviously not. So in which country has a system of letting the people vote directly for the leader of the government that guarantees a fair and democratic result?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ishiba did pretty well against Abe. The 45% of LDP members have voted for Ishiba, against Abe. Abe's group failed to achieve their goal: "an overwhelming victory over Ishba: greater than 70%." Instead, Abe got only 55% even within his own party. So Abe cannot claim his policies to be "mandated." The next 3 years will not be easy for him.

This is a huge misconception, while Abe only won 54% of the LDP party vote, he won a landslide in the vote of members in the current Diet.

Shinzō Abe 329 MP 224 LDP Party Members Total 553

Shigeru IshibaL 73 MP 181 LDP Party Members Total 254

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Theoretically, the president of the LDP and prime-ministership can be assumed by different persons. But there's been no such case in the past.

Here we go again, and it's not theoretical either, again proving my points about you;

Tomiichi Murayama in 1994. He was PM as a coalition partner with the LDP, when the LDP did not have enough members to control the parliament in full.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Simon Foston,

So in which country has a system of letting the people vote directly for the leader of the government that guarantees a fair and democratic result?

Do you want to say the U.S. system is superior to the Westminster system or its offshoot in Japan? Maybe so, but remember that in a U.S. Presidential race it often happens that a candidate who garners fewer direct votes becomes the President. There must be something seriously defective in the U.S. system, too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru,

Here we go again, and it's not theoretical either, again proving my points about you;

Proving your points about me?  

The fact that Tomiichi Murayama, the head of the then Socialist Party, was a Prime Minister in his coalition government with the LDP, never proves what I say is wrong  The election system should have been changed while the Socialist Party or the Democratic Party in later years was in power.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

voiceofokinawaToday  02:15 pm JST

*Simon Foston**, "So in which country has a system of letting the people vote directly for the leader of the government that guarantees a fair and democratic result?"*

Do you want to say the U.S. system is superior to the Westminster system or its offshoot in Japan? 

Sorry, how would you come to that conclusion from this exchange:

*voiceofokinawa "**The U.S. system can't be a role model, nor can the Russian one."*

*Simon Foston** "Obviously not."*

It's clear enough that I don't want to say that, isn't it? I was asking which country has a better system for choosing its leaders, because if there were ever to be such a radical change in Japan it would have to be a major improvement. Swapping one flawed method for another flawed method doesn't sound too great to me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Simon Foston,

Swapping one flawed method for another flawed method doesn't sound too great to me.

Of  course. As far as electing the head of a state, indirect democracy doesn't seem to work effectively, as you see in the case of the Japanese system or in the case of the U.S. system, which is nearer to direct democracy. The head of ta state must be chosen by direct voting, I think.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ok, now raise your hands if you borrowed one of my suits? Oh my

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Republic of Korea's presidential elections alternated between indirect and direct voting from 1948 to 1981. But since it so often turned out the powers that be made the most use of an indirect voting system, they decided to stick to direct voting and have maintained it since 1987.

Can't Japan follow suit? How about the U.S.?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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