Election is all about political timing


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But Abe doesn't have economic policies.

Whats he going to focus on?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What this and any election should really be about is the nature of the social contract. Guaranteed full-time employment has disappeared, wages stagnate or decline and with mounting government debt and a shrinking population, the future shape of the welfare state is unclear. But rather than have this national discussion in any serious way, instead we get Abenomics voodoo policy and nationalistic rhetoric to cover up for what is really going on, which is the wealthy class capturing the political process to transfer huge sums of public money into their private accounts either through corporate welfare or credit easing.

As part of the post-war social contract, the Japanese people were promised guaranteed full-time employment, enough social welfare goods and services and the ability to over-conconsume if they would give their silent consent to the exploitative workings of capital at home and abroad. This and the heavy hand of the corporate state used to quash real dissent has led to the kind of political empathy we find today in the voting public and youth and the superficiality of media discourse and public debate.

So at this point of change in the social contract, that is leading to worsening social indicators, especially labour conditions, inequality and poverty, rather than a serious debate we end up with a Kabuki dance election.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Election is all about political timing

No, no political timing, pleeeeese.

As long as Japanese politicians are focusing on a political trivial like this, Japan goes nowhere. People are all left out in democratic political process.

Election should be by the people, for the people and by the people.

Frustrated in despair.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan’s 8% consumption tax alone does not cause the recession. It contributes to it. When PM Abe devalues the yen, imports like gas, oil, fuel, raw materials, foreign goods, food, etc. cost more. Many goods sold in Japan cost more because of higher transportation costs, higher electricity costs, etc.. Higher prices, less consumption. Businesses that are barely profitable go out of business because of higher costs, etc. The DPJ lost the last elections over the raising of the consumption tax, failure to honor its promise to Okinawans, etc. Does PM Abe expects to win the elections in December 2014 after raising the consumption tax ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Abe's economic policies rely on the government to drive the economy as opposed to the market itself. I like the new, apparent, openness to trade, but, Abe is dilly-dallying on the issue.

I'd be more excited about the election if there was a more market-minded candidate out there with a chance of winning. Win or lose, Japan will be saddled with higher taxes, more deficit spending, and a heavy-handed, interventionist government.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I've never heard holding early elections actually saving a party from defeat. I guess we will see, though.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The first two arrows of Abenomics, a gargantuan fiscal stimulus that all but forced the central bank into doubling the money supply, then followed by a programme of monetary easing, took Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's approval rating to record levels, a modern day William Tell if you will. 

But the third arrow, structural and Labour market reform, the 'growth' arrow never reached the 'apple', it's not as if the 'apple' in question is difficult to hit. Since 1997 Japan has been the only developed country where the average salary has fallen by 15%. 

The number of social contract vacancies has been on the decline for decades, part-time and short term contract employment make up 39% of the workforce. To put this in full perspective, the 39% earn on average 38% less per hour than there full time colleagues. 

A financial underclass of 'temps and part-timers' mostly working 35 to 40 hours a weeks, also account for 60% of job opportunities over the past five years. Striped of the benefits of there full time collegues, they are forever living with the  uncertainly of ever securing stable employment. 

Until Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's LDP make good on there promise of structural reform and bring economic salvation for the 20 million 'jilted generation' then stagnation will remain the order of the day. 

Like the first verse of - The Arrow and the Song - Longfellow 1807-1882...

I shot an arrow into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; For, so swiftly it flew, the sight Could not follow it in its flight.......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These professors giving comments about this election ignore the use of the 60 or 70 billion out of people's tax..i don't think they see the real issue here. Or, maybe because they're from a 'good paying job' category.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To spend extra 70 billion yen. Maybe Abe has some kind of new strategy to get LDP majority? LDP will win then Aso? LDP people dislike Aso so Abe probably win LDP chair meaning Abe will be PM. He might be yhinking if wait more, LDP might lose majority.

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There is only one guy who made more than two years the the top resently.

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Abe's coalition government has 325 seats in the House of Representatives. If his agenda is to push through security-related important bills, he has better not dissolve the House when his support rate is reported to be declining. The reason why Abe decided to dissolve the House is because he was enraged by the Finance Ministry who tries to have him implement the sales tax increase to 10% on schedule in November 2015. If the economy doesn't pick up, Abenomics will fail. Abe wants to postpone the tax increase for now. The Finance Ministry thinks differently. If the economy doesn't pick up and the tax revenue decreases deepening the budget deficit, it will become a good reason for them to have to increase tax. So Abe plays his trump card (the right to dissolve the Diet) not so much against the opposition parties (moribund zombies) as against the Finance Ministry (magnum vampires), though the latter may pull wires to increase the number of LDP lawmakers who are pro tax increase.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh he'll get his "mandate" alright - from the minority of the population that bothers to vote. The rest of the apathetic populace will go back to whining, and then hissing when Abe claims his new "mandate" to raise the consumption tax, saying my least favourite Japanese word - shoganai.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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