politics

Abe pivots away from painful reforms

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By Tetsushi Kajimoto and Izumi Nakagawa

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The LDP was elected the majority because most of you "do not vote". Only 53% of the voters voted in the 2013 election for the Upper House, 59.3% for the last Lower House.

Go out there and vote on Sunday December 14, 2014. Do not protest after the election. The elected members are going to stay in the Lower House for the next 4 years. There is "very little you can do" after the election.

You can cancel the state secrets laws, reverse or stop the sales tax increase, void the reinterpretation of the Constitution to send troops to fight overseas, stop the government spending "your tax money" to wage foreign wars, fight government corruption, etc.. The weak yen benefits the big exporting companies, but causes miseries for many of you and many businesses because the costs of imported food, oil, gas, goods, etc. are much higher.

Do not vote for Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, Komeito or the Party for Future Generations. They all share the similar policies above and "do not care about your constitutional rights and freedom". You can vote for the Democratic Party of Japan, Japan Innovation Party, Your Party, etc.. You can stop the rebirth of "Hideki Tojo" and "Adolf Hitler". Your vote counts.

28 ( +29 / -3 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is signalling that retooling Japan’s economy with painful structural reforms must take a back seat to reviving growth, even though he is poised to win a big referendum on his economic policies in an election on Sunday.

Completely predictable. Another LDP PM, with deep ties to the many special interests in Japan Inc., has decided to kick-the-can down the road once again. Much better to just keep heaping more and more debt on the shrinking number of young people. By the time the crap hits the fan on that debt, all the old folks who are voting in Sunday's election will be long gone anyway. So no chance of them feeling guilty -- not that they would have anyway.

14 ( +15 / -2 )

Go out and exercise your rights! Vote for the betterment if your Country for your own sake Japanese people! God bless Japan

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The key factor could be the Japanese corporate tax code, which rewards companies for making investments abroad and leads to them shifting offices, factories, and jobs abroad even if similar investments in Japan would be more profitable absent tax considerations. Many private firms have increased the pressure to cut costs by any means necessary, leading to more overseas outsourcing, especially in China and Southeast Asia. There is a fear in Japan that if they did not run their businesses with the aim of maximizing short and long term profits, their companies would become takeover targets and many would be out of a job. The strategy of the companies are that they don't hesitate to make difficult decisions such as shedding divisions, closing plants or outsourcing work overseas. Labor costs are the main driver of corporations sending jobs overseas. However, the cost gap between Japan and China has shrunk substantially over the past decade, and the gap will be less in few years.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Absolute about face and a big fat two-handed slap in the face to the populace. Him and his ilk promised structural reform.

He's returning to his original platform of "beautifying Japan" and prettifying past right-wing thinking and state Shintoism. This is not what the voters want.

He needs to follow through on all three of his arrows or this country will be (fill-in-the-blank here).

11 ( +11 / -0 )

He needs to follow through alright, then get kicked out of office for the mess he's made.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

"Abe has shifted the debate from curbing the government’s runaway debt to finding ways to stimulate the economy and put more money in voters’ hands."

How about cutting the tax back to 5%, excepting luxury items like Rolex watches and Lexus cars? AND CUTTING GOVERNMENT SPENDING? No good?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/11/japan-s-nasty-nazi-ish-elections.html?via=desktop&source=twitter

The return of the Nazis, but not in Germany, here in Japan! People should wake up and smell the coffee!

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Pivoting away from talking about reforms.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@jeresyboy

Yes, all predictable. More of the same rightist introverted rehtoric and no need for uncomfortable reforms. 6 mos from now it will be back to making ammends with neighbors and other bipolar behavior. Its all comedy because you can see how it runs in cycles and right through it. The same dance was performed a couple of years back with the senkakus (havent heard much of that recently) and with Fukushima. The world tried to help and get involved with Fukushima but latter shut out and gambaru nippon kicked in.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

What is so frustrating, as a long term resident, over 20 years here, there is not a damn thing I can do about this man, the leader of my adopted country. Of course my wife will vote and I have encouraged as many people as I know to get out and vote, but for the majority of us who care, and see what is really happening, all we can do is sit and watch. It is kind of like watching a car accident, and being helpless to do anything!

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Delaying de-regulation, and reform are huge mistakes. Freeing up the economy is necessary if it is to grow at a more healthy rate.

The massive money printing has to stop as it benefits only a select few, and doesn't create jobs, or boost incomes. Devaluing the yen only makes imports more costly, and hurts consumers.

The main problem with PM Abe's approach is that he envisions a government driven economic revival, when any recovery should be market driven.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Protect yourself and your family from the coming financial hardship.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The LDP was elected the majority because most of you "do not vote".

The majority of us do not have the right to vote (not so many Japanese people on this site).

What is so frustrating, as a long term resident, over 20 years here, there is not a damn thing I can do about this man, the leader of my adopted country.

Too late for this election, but maybe you should get citizenship before the next one, so that you can vote.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Any long term people here should have an investment or a property in their country of birth. I placed a large investment in the UK more than ten years ago. The initial investment has doubled so I do not have sleepless nights about the economic situation here. As I have children I have also tutored my 12 year old to Aiken 1st level ability knowing that if Japan becomes uncomfortable then there is always another option......

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Abe's only goal is to survive out this 4-year term so he can be re-elected party president and then finalize his grand social experiment in the next term so whatever keeps HIM afloat is the shortest path to his victory. This guy has not only sold out his soul but is also willing to risk taking everyone with him too in-order to achieve his vision of a "Beautiful Japan".

Your plan will last as long as it takes us to spend 20,000 yen but hell, shoot an arrow my way and send us a voucher. Better than giving more breaks to your wealthy cronies!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Strange that Abe isn't following through. I thought that was his speciality.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

One of the probable reasons the consumption tax increase has had such a negative effect on spending is that a lot of businesses took the opportunity to jack up prices way more than an extra 3%. Things that cost 525 yen suddenly cost 600 yen and so on. When I see that sort of price gouging, my instinct is to think again about whether I really need to buy that thing or not. This is exacerbated by the lack of a pay increase in our household for five years. It's a recipe for economic contraction.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Without him following through on the 3rd arrow things will accelerate into decline at an even faster rate. All the monetary easing, printing of money and everything else will have been in vain, absolutely pointless except to crash the value of the yen and put more cash in exporters pockets, ( thanks for that much at least ).

Anyone with any assets in Japan needs to cash out, if you wait and then sell your house for example the value of what you take out from that will be low, the exchange rate will plummet, credit rating will also go through the floor.

Without the reforms Japan will be doomed and everything up to now pointless and wasted.

I doubt there is going to be 10 years left in it now without the 3rd arrow.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Too late for this election, but maybe you should get citizenship before the next one, so that you can vote

You have got to be kidding, J-passports are getting less attractive by the minute & they are not worth much of anything to the vast majority of non-Japanese, until Japan gets with the times & offers dual citizenship only fools or Yanks avoiding double taxation or those from the 3rd world should even consider it!

I have been hearing about this 3rd arrow now for about 25yrs STILL no where to be seen! The only thing that's happened was a tiny bit of postal reform, squat since then.

Might be a good idea to convert some more yen t other currencies! Those that did 2-3yrs ago are looking good now. If Japan does a Greece it will be game set & match, Japan will get its wish to join the ranks of China & NKorea!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Why have reforms anyway? The Koizumi reforms only made things worse. For example, employers now find it easier not to pay benefits and raises to workers. That's "reform" for you. LOL.

And that really is the crux of Japan's slow economic growth, the "deflation" narrative is a red herring.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There never was a third arrow really, there was just some bluster from a man with no willingness to act against his own vested interests, which is what a third arrow would have to have been. All we have from Abe is the printing press, stimulus gifts to the vested interest groups and mindless nationalism from a man who seems to think he is his own grandfather. Abe is exactly the same as he was last time he was in power, but he has a stronger mandate now because the young are leaving the countryside in droves and the rural elderly elects the governments. He controls the media, particularly NHK and no one is allowed to ask him any difficult questions. Plus the opposition is irrelevant.

The country is in many ways still a feudal society and Abe is the feudal overlord they have all been told to accept. I watched the virtues of "Abenomics" being sold on the population two years ago and it was scary how little anyone here seemed to know about politics or economics here and how easily they accepted the total rubbish Abe came out with. I don't think that many of them even agree with him, because they're honestly not that stupid, they just see him as their feudal master and have a "shoganai" approach to their own futures. The elderly watched LDP policies rebuild Japan, or that's how it seemed, so they will not abandon the party they have always supported whatever it does.

Honestly, how many countries on earth can anyone name that would willingly run out and elect a government that wanted to make the people poorer and have them return to a set of values that got them into horrific wars 80 years ago? This is exactly what the Japanese will do tomorrow, and it's all rather depressing. The only plus point is that the population is too tired and too lethargic to ever really return to its past regardless of what Abe wants. The yen is going to weaken further though, and the people are going to get poorer and poorer. Don't keep a lot of yen assets and if the brown sticky stuff ever does hit the round twirly thing, make sure you have enough yen for some flights.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Only in an apathetic country where no one seems capable of looking to the future can you run in an election with basically no platform at all and win in a landslide. It's pathetic.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@BuBuBu- Non,non,non! Abe has a platform! He wants to make a "beautiful Japan that is once again at the glowing centre of the world" that is a VALID platform and not at all vague in ANY way shape or form ;)

nochildleftbehind
1 ( +1 / -0 )

Until people in this country show some initiative and let it be known how they feel,nothing will change.The problem is that Japan's standard of living is still too high for people to revolt.Poorer Asian countries have stood up at one time or another but it's really never happened here.Hence the same ol',same ol' politics as usual will continue.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Abe has a platform! He wants to make a "beautiful Japan that is once again at the glowing centre of the world" t

He could start by putting the "vagina" artist out in front!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Too late for this election, but maybe you should get citizenship before the next one, so that you can vote.

And tacitly condone the racist, scaremongering hyperbole of geriatric nazis who claim that foreign PRs would destroy Japan if they could vote, or craven backpedalling of right-wing local politicians who supported PR suffrage until there was actually a chance it might happen (maybe they've gone back to "supporting" it now that the DPJ aren't in charge)? No chance. I'm not on the side of paranoid, reactionary bigots who put me in the same category as North Korean spies.

Anyway, it's no surprise that Abe's wussing out on major reforms. The people who vote for the LDP and supply them with cash like things the way they are. It benefits them just fine, so no need to change anything at all.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Quiet a few government parties want to have local election voting rights for PR-holders, national elections only for citizens of course.

As was said most of the younger japanese don't follow politics and are not interested in voting.

The argument about foreigners voting rights ruining the elections is 100% rubbish as there not enough PR holders to swing it majorly. Many are told that if foreigners can vote they will flood the country before an election and take over, is non-resident foreigners will vote.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The argument about foreigners voting rights ruining the elections is 100% rubbish as there not enough PR holders to swing it majorly.

Then why would PR holders want to vote?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Never heard of Eiken, IELTS, or TOEIC, only TOEFL, but wikipedia says Eiken is accepted at some schools in USA.

Just because you never heard of them does not mean they don't exist, and btw, and if you look at the schools that accept the eiken they are for the most part geared to bringing in Japanese exchange students. IELTS is British based and is actually better in many ways in gauging a persons English ability level as it consists of reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most PR holders I know want to vote in local elections, in short have a say in the communities the live and work in.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yamiko-Otokawa>Do not vote for Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, Komeito or the Party for Future Generations. They all share the similar policies above and "do not care about your constitutional rights and freedom". You can vote for the Democratic Party of Japan, Japan Innovation Party, Your Party, etc>

I wonder why Yamiko Otokawa does not mention Japan Communist Party among the parties she recommends that you vote for. Or is it included among "etc."? Probably not. And why does she recommed the Party for Future Generations, Japan Innovation Party and Your party? (Doesn't she know Your Pary does not exist any more?) These parties share pretty much the same belief with Abe's LDP. Lots of people think they are more right-wing than Abe's party, which means they are okay with Abe's reinterpretation of the Constitution or rather they want to change the Constitution. If you really want to stop Abe or if you do not want to see the rebirth of Tojo Hideki, the Japanese version of Hitler, why not vote for the party that most strongly opposes his policy? Vote for JCP, Japan Communist Pary!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Most PR holders I know want to vote in local elections, in short have a say in the communities the live and work in.

Exactly. They want to influence elections. Which is exactly why the country requires citizenship.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

what i particular don't understand about this policy is the fact that with a society like this it is impossible to keep up with the global competition. the big corps for years are only capable of competing because they adapt more and more to international standards. slashing holy cows like the plasma tv production at panasonic a few years ago.

I guess what we see is a domestic power struggle. And in the end I think it is really not that important what the LDP will do, as they are not that important in the overall global picture anymore. Yes, Japan was once a economic leader, but failed to establish itself on the political and cultural level in the same way. And I guess it is because of the same inward thinking we now see making a comeback in Abe's Vision of a "Beautiful Japan".

So, to make a long story short: Japan has still lots of wealth in form of money, but doesn't have the soft skills to adapt in the global competition. The money Japan is able to invest will not see the needed return to keep the status quo. Implementing Abe San's vision will not change this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yeah, sure told that to the Green Card/PR holders that got voting rights in other countries?

Like I said Japanese are told that foreigners will flood the country and take over the government. Which has happened in how many other countries?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yeah, sure told that to the Green Card/PR holders that got voting rights in other countries?

Countries that allow PR holders to vote are the exception, not the rule. And even if it is the rule, every country has the right to choose its own voting rules. It's Japan's right to not allow PR holders to vote.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Exactly. They want to influence elections. Which is exactly why the country requires citizenship.

Anyone whose taxes goes towards government spending and paying elected representative' salaries has the right to influence elections. But if you think it's okay for imbeciles like Abe to take your money, pay themselves huge salaries for being useless and generally screwing up your life and everyone else's around you while giving you no power at all to do anything about it, well... there's not a whole lot else to say on the subject.

It"S MEDEC. 13, 2014 - 01:07PM JST

Like I said Japanese are told that foreigners will flood the country and take over the government. Which has happened in how many other countries?

Exactly. That's the best argument the politicians can come up with, and it's just beneath contempt.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

RE: MarkXDec. 13, 2014 - 08:16AM JST What is so frustrating, as a long term resident, over 20 years here,

And yet the GOJ takes your money just as nicely and taxes while sticking it to you and everyone else in the same boat.

If Abe had only done what he said and spent all his time and energy on the economy rather than smoke and mirrors, his true agenda of an Imperial Japan then the economy wouldn't be in this condition. Abe is hiding behind the mask of a weak economy just to get what he and the shadow government wants, prewar Japan where the elite as served by the rest of the peasants. IF Abe is elected and the people are not careful with what they are voting for or not voting then the blame is on the people. To me it means they want to be slaves.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Vote for JCP, Japan Communist Pary!

Yoshimi, Be careful, it's election time now, you may be arrested on a charge of election law violation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Temperate, calm, considered, humility, are arguably the fundamental corner stones associated to Japan's naturally ordered society.

The voting electorate will file in an orderly fashion into the booths heralding in a undeserving LDP government, casting the main opposition parties into a wilderness of shame. A new LDP term of office with the economic sword of Damocles hanging precariously over it's head and the split vote leaving BOJ’s Kuroda hovering over a fiscal snake pit, the prospect of more helicopter money easing moving further and further from his grasp.

For Abe's son history has proved in these moments that require extreme acts of political statesmanship, there follows personal political sacrifice. He must demand unquestioned loyalty and honour from his minsters and force through some of the most painful structural changes to Government institutions, employment, farming/agriculture, education, and the economy, that will need a strength of character that will see his natural political support within these institutions melt away overnight.

The LDP has just a 'few' months to turn the economic tide, starting with a supplementary budget that must unleash that third arrow straight and true at the target. Failure to act will set Japan on course for chaotic economic collapse, ugly in the very respect that it's effects will be traumatic for all walks of society in its betrayal of the LDP rhetorical promises of a bright future. Fingers crossed for Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Anyone whose taxes goes towards government spending and paying elected representative' salaries has the right to influence elections.

Obviously not, as non-Japanese do not have the right to vote.

But if you think it's okay for imbeciles like Abe to take your money, pay themselves huge salaries for being useless and generally screwing up your life and everyone else's around you while giving you no power at all to do anything about it, well... there's not a whole lot else to say on the subject.

Where did I ever claim that I think it's ok? Quite the strawman you've built up there.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Strangerland.

So you support the Government exploiting long-term residents by taking their money and giving little control over their lives here.

Thinking like that will surely boost the needed immigrants to work and live in Japan, that will help recover the economy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Re: economy painful structural reforms must take a back seat to reviving growth: Question why not begin with removing the "fuel surcharge" as oil prices have sunk but yet the airlines are still charging this high excess fee to the public? That was the excuse by the airlines in Japan provided to the public though it was an unofficial lie but more of a profit making scheme, yet it hasn't dropped. This will stimulate extra income on company employees who use airline travel as well as consumers with extra money to spend on the economy causing demand on goods and services. That will stimulate growth as well on the energy sector as oil prices have been lowered but yet the public is still paying high fees in surcharges.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So you support the Government exploiting long-term residents by taking their money and giving little control over their lives here.

I don't call it exploitation. So it's hard to answer your question. But I do support their right to limit voting to citizens only. I would want my own country to do the same (I've never checked exactly what they do).

Thinking like that will surely boost the needed immigrants to work and live in Japan, that will help recover the economy.

Maybe, but at what sacrifice? There are better ways to boost immigration.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What are the better ways to boost immigration for longterm residents and their families?

And what sacrifice? Again we are talking elections on a city or ward level only.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't agree. I don't see the any hard changes. Japan made itself weak over decades relying on the support of the USA to hold its back against China and Korea. Japan failed completely to make strong ties with its neighbours and is now learning that being just the outpost of foreign power's policy will not solve any problems in the long run.

If you read the last interview with Shinzo Abe in the Economist, you would have seen that he is not up to bring Japan back to the glory of 1970/1980, but to dark ages of the pre-war Japan. Reluctant to engage in any singificant dialogue about aching topics regarding its past.

The most embarrassing thing the LDP and Abe San are doing right now is, that they will win this election. But they have already lost the respect of Japans global peers, because of the reluctance to chip in into the thing we call progress.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What are the better ways to boost immigration for longterm residents and their families?

Outside the scope of this conversation. We aren't discussing ways to boost immigration, we are discussing whether or not the Japanese are justified in limiting the vote to citizens.

And what sacrifice? Again we are talking elections on a city or ward level only.

Then you wouldn't be able to vote in the election tomorrow anyways.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Strangerland Dec. 13, 2014 - 01:39PM JST

I don't call it exploitation. So it's hard to answer your question. But I do support their right to limit voting to citizens only. I would want my own country to do the same (I've never checked exactly what they do).

I agree, why should anyone have double voting rights. If it's that important to participate in elections here then people should become Japanese citizens.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And what sacrifice? Again we are talking elections on a city or ward level only.

A city or ward can do a lot for instance changing the name of the See of Japan in their school text book or erecting some statues at their public parks.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yup, I wouldn't be allowed in voting tomorrow, often local and national elections are held same time though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A city or ward can do a lot for instance changing the name of the See of Japan in their school text book or erecting some statues at their public parks

Yeah, because changing a name in a textbook or building a statue in a park is such a big deal.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It'S Me, I think you can vote in Japan for your country's election. Check with your Embassy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tina.

I can and do vote in my countries elections even though I no longer reside there. That is not the problem.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

StrangerlandDEC. 13, 2014 - 01:31PM JST Anyone whose taxes goes towards government spending and paying elected representative' salaries has the right to influence elections.

Obviously not, as non-Japanese do not have the right to vote.

Ho ho. Very droll.

But if you think it's okay for imbeciles like Abe to take your money, pay themselves huge salaries for being useless and generally screwing up your life and everyone else's around you while giving you no power at all to do anything about it, well... there's not a whole lot else to say on the subject.

Where did I ever claim that I think it's ok?

So you don't think it's okay for there to be taxation for foreign PRs but no representation?

Quite the strawman you've built up there.

Did you overlook "while giving you no power at all to do anything about it"?

Anyway, I doubt if there's anything new to say on this subject (any facts, anecdotes or statistics, anyone?), so if no one wants to comment on the actual topic of the article I'm not going to bother reading any more.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yeah, because changing a name in a textbook or building a statue in a park is such a big deal.

If it only benefits SK propaganda, what's the point of allowing PR residents voting right? SK has really demonstrated in US what would happen. The largest number of PR residents are from SK, and they're most vocal about this issue.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

So now is his argument "want a mandate to do nothing?" What a prat.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Abe is as slippery as an eel! He's deliberately delayed all of the condemning legislation so he can get another four years to playout his tyrannical dilusions of grandure. All of his economic reforms have failed and 'real' economists have confirmed the rest of his reforms he is holding back are destined to fail as well. The way he snuck through the changes to the constitution by changing the laws first tells everyone how much of a scumbag he really is. His plan to call a snap election is just another slimy act. He knows full well the voter turn out will be low and those that do vote are the extremists that support this right-wing crony. I suspect the voter turnout will be around 40% in tomorrow's election. The japanese people deserve everything they get for not having the devotion to get off their butts and vote.

2 ( +3 / -2 )

painful structural reforms must take a back seat to reviving growth

Without the reforms there will be no growth; this is what Abe himself has said in the past.

Being a coward, it seems that Abe has given up on reform and will follow the traditional LDP path of spending huge sums bulding things that are not needed. This works in the short term, but with a falling population and rising debt it is bound to end in tears eventually. When that happens you Japanese can look in the mirror if you want to see who is to blame.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A 馬鹿 electorate deserves a 馬鹿 Prime Minister and his cabinet.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So you don't think it's okay for there to be taxation for foreign PRs but no representation?

It's perfectly okay because PRs are receiving the same public services such as garbage collection, library, infrastructure, etc.

imbeciles like Abe

If you think Xi of China, Park of SK, or Obama of USA is any better, you are imbecile.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Anyone opposing Abeconomics has a responsibility to suggest a reasonable alternative. I haven't seen one yet.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Maintaining government spending and massive yen-printing by the Bank of Japan while putting off thorny economic reforms could mean Japan is left with an ever growing debt pile and little improvement in the economy's long-term growth potential.

The article sounds a grumble from the Finance Ministry who is displeased with Abe prioritizing business recovery over fiscal reconstruction. But I don't think Abe fights a losing battle, for example, with JA (Japan Agricultural Cooperatives) and JA-Zenchu, though the battle just got started and is fairly under way. Abe uses TPP as a foreign pressure to push through agricultural reform domestically while letting Amari take an unyielding stand with Mr. Froman with no end game in sight even after two years of negotiation. As for an ever growing debt pile, Abe a politician who kisses the hand he wishes to cut off is having the US treasury bonds redeemed and is often reluctant to roll over them. True he has many enemies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If it only benefits SK propaganda, what's the point of allowing PR residents voting right? SK has really demonstrated in US what would happen. The largest number of PR residents are from SK, and they're most vocal about this issue.

The largest group of PR are Korean, yes, but they are heavily outnumbered by other foreigners in Japan. So, it is simply untrue that Koreans only would benefit.

Your fear that 400、000 Koreans in Japan will somehow change Japan by being allowed to vote in local elections is silly. While changing textbooks to say ‘east sea‘ was dumb, it really changes very little.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

TravelingSales Dec. 13, 2014 - 05:04PM JST

Anyone opposing Abeconomics has a responsibility to suggest a reasonable alternative. I haven't seen one yet.

No we don't and plenty of experts out there have. Maybe those who support his plan ought to explain to us why we shouldn't seek an alternative and keep on this path of destruction! But here's one thought, if someone is heading down the highway in the wrong direction the best course of action isn't to keep your foot on the gas pedal when it's realized but to slam on the brakes and turn the hell around it quick fashion! That would be a sign of responsibility from the man behind the wheel and that my friend is the PM!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

While changing textbooks to say ‘east sea‘ was dumb, it really changes very little.

Saitama, If very little, why do you damand? With ever increasing anti-Japan attitude of your country, I don't think Japan will give voting right to its citizen.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It's perfectly okay because PRs are receiving the same public services such as garbage collection...

But we still have to pay out a big chunk of change for things like TVs, fridges or air conditioners to be taken away. Great.

...library...

There are just two libraries where I live, for a population of more than half a million, compared to four where I'm from for a population of 100,000. The ones here are just about the most boring buildings I have ever been in, with virtually nothing for foreign residents.

infrastructure, etc.

What, like the 99 regional airports, most of which are losing money, or the bridge projected to get 2000 cars going across it each day but in fact only gets about 200? Yes, my tax money is being really well spent.

If you think Xi of China, Park of SK, or Obama of USA is any better, you are imbecile.

You have no idea what my opinions of other world leaders are. Keep your stupid assumptions to yourself.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Anyone opposing Abenomics has a responsibility to suggest a reasonable alternative. I haven't seen one yet.

I don't understand this logic. All of us don't have to master all the skills - we need to specialize on something. I have my own area of expertise (programming) and I do that well. Its frustrating when your software doesn't work, right? Do you think you are not allowed to complain unless you know how to fix the code mess? My point is that it is indeed possible to detect when something is not working or somebody is incompetent, even if you don't know better because the problem is outside of your area of expertise.

I don't know how to fix Japan's economy. But I am sure that there are many people in Japan who know much better than me or Abe how to do it. They aren't given a chance.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Oh! What a surprise — Abe backtracks and u-turns at the same time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese "group social harmony philosophy" with its multi-levels political & social patronage system has served the male ruling class and male elites very well and the citizens well, when the economy was booming and saving rates high.

But over the past 25 years as the economy struggles, government debts pile up, population ages and declines, with the coffers nearly bankrupted, BOJ printing money like mad, wages & pensions of salarymen threatened, many young educated workers in temporary jobs, young mothers facing huge family pressure for child costs & care, intensive global competition heating up, etc the system is clearly unsustainable and breaking.

Nevertheless, the elite ruling class still is well served though down from extreme comforts, is unwilling to honestly identify and tackle the core issues with the citizens head-on. "Group social harmony philosophy" also hinders the need to confront unpleasant realities. So most will just lament and accept come what may, with hopelessness.

More government spending from a nearly bankrupt government is only going to make the problem bigger though it gives a very near term relief. Cutting down government spending dramatically while empowering individual, smaller enterprises, etc with significant immigration seem a more viable solution.

True reforms in Japan is not only economic, but really cultural & social in nature because it is so intertwined for Japan. Most Japanese just refuse to face-up but rather have status quo. This is highly understandable given the very admirable social harmony civil behavior of most Japanese. The problem is status quo mean spiraling down economically & financially soon.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Abe and Japan. How embarrassing for us. The blind leading the blind.

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Abe has been pretty blunt saying he will change the Constitution Article 9th, yet a 2/3 of Japanese voters votes for him. Am I getting a message that a majority of voters is okay with that? Please let me know. Thanks.

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@globalwatcher

Abe has been pretty blunt saying he will change the Constitution Article 9th, yet a 2/3 of Japanese voters votes for him. Am I getting a message that a majority of voters is okay with that? Please let me know. Thanks.

More like a recognition that however you may like or dislike Abe, there's really only the LDP in Japan. The other parties are there as pressure groups to rein in the LDP's excesses - they don't have the institutional strength to be the government if it was handed to them. That's why the few governments that are not LDP tend to die fast.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Abe has been pretty blunt saying he will change the Constitution Article 9th, yet a 2/3 of Japanese voters votes for him.

Hardly. The voter turn-out in the 2012 election was only 59% and the LDP only got a 43% share of the constituency votes. The turn-out could be even lower this time - the LDP's rural conservative base will all get out to vote, handing Abe another victory, while everyone else assumes it's a foregone conclusion and stays away from the polling stations.

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Abe has been pretty blunt saying he will change the Constitution Article 9th, yet a 2/3 of Japanese voters votes for him. Am I getting a message that a majority of voters is okay with that?

What Constitution Japan wants is within the sovereignty of the nation. globalw, Japan need to change that.

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tinawatanabe Dec. 14, 2014 - 01:12AM JST

What Constitution Japan wants is within the sovereignty of the nation. globalw, Japan need to change that.

Abe will move next to amend the Referendum law regarding constitutional changes to allow them to pass with a simple majority which he has said would be appropriate on many occasions.

And if he does so, the constitution Abe has waiting in his back pocket with be nothing less than an imposition on the sleeping minions and the unforgivable act of a fascist dictator!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

nothing less than an imposition on the sleeping minions and the unforgivable act of a fascist dictator!

The sleeping minions were waked up by China and South Koea, and are ready for the unforgivable act of a fascist dictator.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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