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Abe set to call election, delay tax hike

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“People’s life won’t get better without economic growth.”

So why has Abe done precious little in his two years to boost it? Was destroying the value of the yen and beggar Japan's neighbours under the guise of reforms his whole plan? Looks that way.

Abe is expected to order his ministers Tuesday to compile fresh economic stimulus

Having bureaucrats struggle to dream up extra ways of spending other people's money is an impediment to sustainable economic growth.

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to call a snap election, and seek voters’ endorsement for more economic reforms after Japan slipped into recession.

This is double-talk, the ONLY reason he is calling for the elections NOW is because he needs to delay the consumption tax hike, nothing more, nothing less.

The people here should be madder than hell at the waste of tax money to have this election and at the time of year as well is seriously not hospitality (omoteinashi) in action.

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The only people that are going to bother to vote - and give him his "endorsement" are the elderly. We can expect more of the same for the forseeable future

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Calling an election now is about the only bold thing Abe has done. With falling real wages and an economy in recession he doesn't have much to boast about.

However, Abe has made sure not to fix the unconstitutional electoral boundaries, giving the LDP an unfair advantage going into the election.

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But commentators across the spectrum agree that Abe, who enjoys approval ratings around 50 percent, is likely to stroll home in the popular vote, and point out that the premier’s real target is rivals within his own fractious Liberal Democratic Party.

LDP will lose about 30 to 50 seats.

At present, LDP has 294 seats in the 480-seat Lower House. With Komeito, the ruling parties have 325 seats which is more than 2/3 majority of 320. This large majority is mainly due to criticism against DPJ at the previous election.

But the pendulum will go the other way this time due to the recession and tax increase. LDP may maintain small margin majority, but criticism against Abe will be inevitable within LDP and he will lose party presidency in the LDP leadership election in the fall next year.

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What is this "structural reform" 3rd arrow that is stuck. Isn't this the most important thing? Why do the people uniformly have to see their prices increase with the CT and yen plunge? Never a chance to get serious reform, reduction of pork barrel projects, or conservation in the old fashioned chance!

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Old people run the country, they'll come out in the millions to vote for Abe because of his right wing connections. Keep the old people and farmers happy while you tax the average Joe through the nose

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Abe, why don't you just quit? You failed.

But commentators across the spectrum agree that Abe, who enjoys approval ratings around 50 percent, is likely to stroll home in the popular vote, and point out that the premier’s real target is rivals within his own fractious Liberal Democratic Party.

If this is all about, does Japan need that kind of BS right now? Why are they so stupid? Please someone, send them a brain....

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Nothing sums up the sad state of political affairs in Japan more than the fact that there is no viable opposition to Abe. On Abe's orders, the Bank of Japan has flooded "Japan" with cash that the vast majority of its population has not had the slightest sniff of, yet there is no political party able to take advantage of this gross mismanagement of the economy.

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Depressing ain't it?? We all know that no matter what Abe does or doesn't do, he will win this election as all the old gits come out to vote for him. What a farce is japanese politics and the economy. If it wasn't so serious affecting millions of people's lives, it would be all highly amusing.

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There's a typical picture of a Japanese government funded program at work here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/18/us-environment-japan-whaling-idUSKCN0J20OI20141118

Whether you agree with what they are doing or not is one thing, but what I want to highlight is number of people standing around in expensive uniforms doing nothing.

This is what Japanese government spending gets us.

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Abe set to call election, delay tax hike

This is the Far Lefts chance to prove that Japan is against Prime Minister Abe and his agendas. The Communist Party of Japan, Socialist Party of Japan and DPJ have their chance. The voters will decide what they want, but we all know the truth and the truth is a majority of Japanese voters support Prime Minister Abe and will vote him in once again!

You can make all the excuses you want, but when he wins by a majority (again) you will know that you have been wrong all this time. But, I am getting a good chuckle out of all the whining that is coming from the Left here.

umbrellaNov. 18, 2014 - 06:23PM JST Depressing ain't it?? We all know that no matter what Abe does or doesn't do, he will win this election as all the old gits come out to vote for him.

You guys just keep making excuses.

daito_hakNov. 18, 2014 - 06:18PM JST Abe, why don't you just quit? You failed.

Please point out where he has failed.

Christopher GlenNov. 18, 2014 - 05:06PM JST The only people that are going to bother to vote - and give him his "endorsement" are the elderly. We can expect more of the same for the forseeable future

He will win not because of the elderly voters, he will win because of folks like my wife, sister-in-law and the score of others that approve of what he is doing.

Making excuses is silly.

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Please point out where he has failed.

How many "points" do you need? Let's start with the folks in Tohoku....need I go on?

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None of this has any bearing on daily life for 99% of working people.

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It's communist type political system, 60 years of the same families generation after generation. With each generation their DNA has degraded due to interbreeding thus the low standard of intellect we now have. And the lack of choice the voter has.

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Let's get ready to hear lots of anti-Chinese neo-nationalist rhetoric from Abe as he tried to divert the public's attention away from the state of the nation and his failed leadership.

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LDP will lose about 30 to 50 seats.

Actually Abe is going to election but his own will and with a program that essentially consists of postponing taxes … how can you say that he is going to have problems with this ? Furthermore, his opponents look now quite weak and beside the recent scandals,

Abe imho has no full responsability for the poor Abenomics performance … Actually he proposed a plan to Japanese ppl and he got voted on this, then he followed it (as he was supposed to do) and so responsabilities are partially his own ones (because he developed the plan) and partially of the electors. Now he’s proposing an important change to the plan and hence he’s asking again ppl support … This sounds reasonable to me …

Finally probably he is exploiting this “not too unfavourable” moment to try improving his seats in the Lower House and his plan obviously involves a little percentage of risk but it does not seem bad to me

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Now he’s proposing an important change to the plan and hence he’s asking again ppl support … This sounds reasonable to me …

Huh? Important change? He is just delaying the inevitable that's all.

He can't make a call to raise the consumption tax when the economy is in a recession, due in no small part to his rush to force inflation, devalue the yen, increase exports in an economy that is no longer based upon them, kill the mid-to small sized manufacturing sector that relies on imports to survive, stagnant wages, increased consumer prices and cost of living expenses too.

Exporters are making a killing, but they are not the backbone of the economy as they once were because many of those manufacturers who brought up the economy in the first place no longer produce products IN Japan as they moved their production lines to countries with lower labor costs.

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Please point out where he has failed.

Excuse me? What about the fact the country re-entered in recession? What do you want more as a reason of failure?

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Yubaru, technically postponing a tax hike is quite an important change to the original blueprint … However you are claiming that yen devaluation is killing the small-mid size manufacturing and that the big exporters are producing out of Japan right ? So I ask, who is taking advantage of yen devaluation ? I don’t think Abe is crazy and he’s pursuing a nonsense goal … Maybe the big exporters are producing out of Japan (in cheap labor countries) but they are selling it from Japan so they benefit from yen devaluation and they are paying their taxes in Japan (not in other countries)

You claim it’s not like this ?

If this is correct, it means that big companies are growing while small and mid size ones are decreasing but this dynamic is something very common in a globalized world: I don't think you could blame Abe for globalization ...

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If the voters of Japan don't trust Prime Minister Abe to get the job done, the people will vote him out. But, if they do trust him he'll win. You may hate it, it may upset you. But, it isn't your choice who Japan's voters pick, it's theirs.

But, it's always better to complain than to wish someone luck.

daito_hakNov. 18, 2014 - 09:17PM JST Excuse me? What about the fact the country re-entered in recession? What do you want more as a reason of failure? Or perhaps you do also suffer from some chronic denying symptoms?

If Japan was reentering into a recession the stock market would be falling, so let's see how it's doing today? How odd, the Nekkei closed up 2.18%. So, things aren't as doom and gloom as most on the Left hope.

YubaruNov. 18, 2014 - 07:51PM JST How many "points" do you need? Let's start with the folks in Tohoku....need I go on?

Tohoku wasn't devastated by a small Earthquake. It was hit by one of the largest earthquakes in history. 16,000 people died and billions upon billions of dollars in damages. Recovery won't take weeks or months, it will be years. We are talking about over 25 million tonnes of debris that needed to be cleaned up. One more time, 25 million tonnes of debris!

Here are some links to help you see what has been done.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/03/05/national/for-kesennuma-real-recovery-may-never-come/#.VGtMFqNxmJA

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-17219008

http://www.voanews.com/content/japan-tsunami-estimated-costliest-ever-disaster-118644489/137021.html

The clean up and recovery wasn't going to happen in 1 year or 5 years, it maybe 10 years before things are back to normal there. But, it's easier to blame Abe because what should take 10 years he hasn't done in his 2 years.

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Maybe the big exporters are producing out of Japan (in cheap labor countries) but they are selling it from Japan so they benefit from yen devaluation and they are paying their taxes in Japan (not in other countries)

Do a little research and you might be surprised. First off people are not buying. Secondly the products produced in those countries and re-imported into Japan are sold at unbelievably higher prices than it purchased somewhere else. Example: TV's produced by a Japanese company, manufactured in Thailand or elsewhere, are some where in the neighborhood of 30% to 50% higher in cost in Japan.

Also they only pay the taxes in Japan on products sold here, and if they arent selling there is less tax income.

Abe is playing a Ponzi game, and in the private sector that lands a person in jail, in government it just means that following generations have to foot the bill.

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@Yubaru

Abe is playing a Ponzi game, and in the private sector that lands a person in jail, in government it just means that following generations have to foot the bill.

Rather than a Ponzi game, what Abe and his cohorts are engaged in is class warfare and they are presently transferring wealth to the top few percent, so it is both the present and future generations who will suffer.

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Japan government has borrowed almost all its money from their own people in Japanese currency. The goverment desperately wants to end deflation, but still thinks it needs to raise taxes before investors fear it will inflate aways its debts by printing money. Instead, it should be using that fear to convince people of what's otherwise hard to is that inflation is going up. The only thing Japan has to fear is the fear of more inflation. It would mean a better recovery and less debt. But instead, Japan is back in recession because nobody ever ended a depression by being responsible.

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If the voters of Japan don't trust Prime Minister Abe to get the job done, the people will vote him out. But, if they do trust him he'll win. You may hate it, it may upset you. But, it isn't your choice who Japan's voters pick, it's theirs.

Please take some time to understand the election process here, the voters didnt elect Abe as their leader, his party did.

One tiny, relatively insignificant section of the population voted him in.

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Please take some time to understand the election process here, the voters didnt elect Abe as their leader, his party did.

His party elected to him the 'leader' before the general election. He became the 'face' of the party in the election.

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His party elected to him the 'leader' before the general election. He became the 'face' of the party in the election.

That still does not make him PM by mandate nor election by the Japanese public. Also he was elected leader AFTER the election, which is common in Japanese politics as well.

After the LDP won, in a landslide by the way, election Abe won the party leadership role after a run off, LDP internal election in 2012 against Ishiba not before.

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That still does not make him PM by mandate nor election by the Japanese public. Also he was elected leader AFTER the election, which is common in Japanese politics as well

That's how parliamentary system works.

After the LDP won, in a landslide by the way, election Abe won the party leadership role after a run off, LDP internal election in 2012 against Ishiba not before

LDP Presidential election was in September of 2012.

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Nicola BerniniNov. 18, 2014 - 08:53PM JST

LDP will lose about 30 to 50 seats.

Actually Abe is going to election but his own will and with a program that essentially consists of postponing taxes how can you say that he is going to have problems with this ?

Because all the opposition parties agree that tax increase should be postponed. Delay of tax hike does not give LDP any edge. In addition, LDP is now saying the delay is limited to 1.5 years and that tax will increase in April 2017 regardless of economic situation at that time, whereas the opposition is arguing unlimited postponement.

In summer 2010, DPJ lost upper house election because it proposed consumption tax increase.

In December 2012, DPJ lost lower house election because it passed a bill to increase consumption tax.

PM Abe actually increased the consumption tax and the economy is now in recession.

LDP will have a hard time in this election. People will not be fooled by limited 1.5 year delay.

In addition, LDP has about 50 so called "Abe children" who are unexperienced LDP parliament members elected first time in the 2012 election and has no grass root support in their constituency. Many of them will be wiped out this time.

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YubaruNOV. 19, 2014 - 08:30AM JST Please take some time to understand the election process here, the voters didnt elect Abe as their leader, his party did.

It seems that you should take your own advice and read up on how Japan's elections work.

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@CH3CHO

I supposed all of the LDP opponents were proposing to postpone tax hike and obviously to unlimited time but the point is … are they credible ? I think it’s rather easy to develop a plan with tax reduction and everyone is happy … is this actually anything possible ? I don’t think the average Japanese elector can be fooled so easily …

Japan can still be one of the leading economies in the world despite its big debt because Japanese ppl is financing it by means of its own banking system (Japanese savers + BoJ) but obviously this kind of firepower is not unlimited hence other parts of the Gov Spendings (i.e. Pension System) should be financed by other means, like taxes …

Taxing consumptions (i.e. increasing VAT) is a way to make Japan a more mercantilistic country: internal consumption is discouraged to keep prices low (low demand → low prices) hence export is eased …

Actually this will not really end deflation (taxing consumption is essentially a way to keep inflation low) but low internal inflation, as well as yen devaluation, will ease exports and hopefully allow Japan to grow larger surplus

Obviously from this kind of context, big multinational companies will get more benefits while small-mid companies will struggle to survive but, again as I stated in a previous comment, it’s the common dynamic in a globalized world and you can’t surely blame Abe for globalization …

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