politics

Coronavirus putting Abe's Teflon image to the test

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By Noriyuki Suzuki

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Then came a jolt from within, as Komeito piled pressure on him to accept its plan to provide 100,000 yen to all citizens, reportedly using the threat to break up its coalition of some 20 years with the Liberal Democratic Party as leverage. Abe had to give in.

Thank you Komeito. I didn’t think Abe would have been kind/smart enough to push for this. More clear evidence that Abe doesn’t care about the taxpayers of Japan who put money in his and his crony’s pockets which allows them to live a luxurious life.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

You want to do your utmost? Reduce all monetary compensation for all diet members by half for six months. Share the pain.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

What exactly does a blanket cash handout solve? Plenty of people still work and 30% of the population are old. Old people do not need more money to buy up masks, ozeki cups, and go to pachinco.

More logically would be to limit testing, not spread panic, urge people to stay home and pay those who cannot earn due to the virus. A strategic stimulus not a blanket one is what the people need.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

As I wrote on another thread:

Well, a true test is here for the LDP. The party essentially got lucky politically in 1995 and 2011. When the Great Hanshin earthquake hit in 1995 and more than 6,000 people died, the LDP was a partner in the coalition government but the prime minister (Murayama) was a socialist. When the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami hit in 2011 and more than 15,000 people died, the LDP was not in power at all and the prime minister (Kan) was a DPJ member. In both cases, Abe and other LDP politicians were mostly able to trash talk from the sidelines while the ruling governments and non-LDP prime ministers took flak for how they responded to a disaster.

Not this time. Here's a pandemic that's already killed way more people in certain countries than the number of Japanese who died on 3/11. At his core, Abe has really only ever cared about one thing in politics: Repealing or amending Article 9 of the Constitution. He will need to focus his attention on another matter right now. Article 9 is currently irrelevant.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

There are presently 10,000 cases in Japan. That is nearly double from a fortnight ago at 6,000 and four times what it was a month ago. This could mean there will be 20,000 cases in Japan in another two weeks. It also means this number could keep doubling every fortnight with the infections reaching the millions within a couple of months. It would seem that Mr. Teflon’s utmost is not good enough. However, I’m sure Mr. Teflon’s two masks per household will stop the spread, NOT! Poop does not stick to Teflon.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

He was more interested in the olympics than saving people in Japan. His drive to bring in as many Chinese tourists as he could has caused this wave. His legacy will always be ‘abenomask’ what a terrible, terrible leader..

13 ( +13 / -0 )

The Japanese diplomatic relationship with S. Korea can be improved once the incapable leader is replaced.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

Abe is pathetically useless. A sorry excuse for a man.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Notably, his well-intentioned countrywide cloth mask distribution plan was immediately branded "Abenomask," a mocking reference to his long-running signature "Abenomics" economic plan.

Well intentioned? If it was well intentioned, he would have worked harder to get more masks into everyone's hands, rather than paying ¥466 for each one, most likely to his friends who have textile companies.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

But the more he does, the more he seems to fail

H is doing nothing! The only things he does are reactionary and way way too late to be effective

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The Japanese diplomatic relationship with S. Korea can be improved once the incapable leader is replaced.

That goes for both countries, actually. Hopefully see a change this year.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Ultimately this won't matter one bit if Abe's handling of coronavirus gets unfavorable opinions from the public. Just like Trump, people will soon forget months down the line and keep these inept leaders in power.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

dbsaiya, I totally agree! Why has there been no talk of politicians taking a pay cut or anything like that. In New Zealand the PM declared all politicians would take a 20% cut for 6 months.

Think of all the money that would usually be used for business trips and meetings at fancy hotels and drinking parties, that adds up to a lot of money. But the politicians and bureaucrats will hold onto that like it was their most prized possession.

Abe has to stand up and demand more from political leaders and bureaucrats, who are supposed to serve the people, not us who serve them!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Abe underlined the need to pay 100,000 yen per person to all those affected by the declaration.

If you have a My Number then you’re also eligible as a resident? Can anyone confirm?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

From a Japanese media report, some of the first shipment of 'Abe no masks' supplied to a hospital caring for pregnant women were found to be contaminated with hairs and and what looked like parts of insects (!) and rejected. Not a good start..

7 ( +7 / -0 )

even though they are based on a cult-like organization (Sokkagakkai) I support Komeito

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@commanteer

That goes for both countries, actually. Hopefully see a change this year.

You seem to have no idea on the Korean politics, not to mention the leader there:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_Jae-in

Moon is to a wild tiger what Abe is to a pet:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinzo_Abe

0 ( +3 / -3 )

*a, **I totally agree! Why has there been no talk of politicians taking a pay cut or anything like that. In New Zealand the PM declared all politicians would take a 20% cut for 6 months.*

Actually there has been...they are talking about taking a 20% pay cut of their base pay which is about 130,0000 yen per month....however , and this was discussed on TBS program last night , on top of the base salary they get sh...loads more in all the different allowances, eg...320, 00, 000 yen in total bonuses yearly , travel allowances, office allowances, office staff allowances , next to free accomodation, free travel etc.....the commentators especially Hashimoto ( ex Ishin no kai leader ) really ripping into the system and the politicians perks...was impressive and reminded me of the debates that happen in more advanced ' democracies ' than the Japanese version. All up Hashimoto said ( and he sure has a first hand knowledge of it ) the Japanese Diet members collect around 80,000,000 yen per year....almost 800,000 USD. Let that number sink in.

DPJ ,s Edano suggested no salary for the rest of the year.....you can bet Abe and LDP would never even contemplate that.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

"There may have been shortcomings, but I've been doing everything I can," Abe said. "I will continue to do my utmost."

"May have been?" Understatement of the year! I can already see it, the "words" of the year for 2020 Corona Virus, and Abe-no-mask!"

Abe's legacy is all going to come down to this pandemic and his screwing things up because of the Olympics. Nothing else will remain!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

even though they are based on a cult-like organization (Sokkagakkai) I support Komeito

It was Soka gakkai that sent a letter to Komeito leadership that they will withdraw their grass roots support for the next election that spurred Komeito,s Yamaguchi to go to Abe and demand the 10 man yen payment to everyone or Komeito would leave the ruling coalition. Abe had no choice but to cede ground to Komeito.

So, your party did something right after playing second fiddle to LDP for years. They can rightly claim credit for the budget change.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Abe's handling of this pandemic is criminal and, although Koike has changed her tune hers is as well.

Some of my Japanese friends and acquaintances who were always strong LDP supporters and supporters of Abe are also beginning to say the same thing.

I think it is becoming obvious to more and more people that the selfish gamble which Abe and Koike made to try to salvage the 2020 Olympics (which may not happen in 2021) has cost lives and will also result in more devastation to the economic well being of Japan due to the 1 month delay in taking strong action.

As for the reference to Teflon I again refer readers to the Karel van Wolferen's book The Enigma of Japanese Power.

As an American, I have no problem with people pointing out Trump's faults, and in most cases I agree; however I live in Japan, pay a lot of taxes and I believe Japan is in dire need of a complete recycling of the leadership. From the cotton masks to the paltry 100,000 Yen the central government's response has been pathetic.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Abe Road at a dead end?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

ABE IS A JERK.. he only started wearing a mask after he lost the Olympics, he really thought he had a say in whether they would continue, did it cross his mind that other countries would be the decision makers there If he had jumped on the Corona bandwagon from the very start Japan would be in a better position. He should have went after the virus immediately and taken care of the people. It would have shown the world that Japan was responsible enough to host the Olympics maybe if he had used that approach there would be an Olympics counts are low in Japan because of lack of testing. Now the guy is wearing a mask. Get really the counts are going to soar..

2 ( +3 / -1 )

> "Mr Abe is trying to do what's good for the public but there is a huge perception gap between him and ordinary people (in terms of what's needed during the coronavirus crisis)," said Masahiro Iwasaki, a political science professor at Nihon University.

How is he helping ?

By producing crap undersized masks for people that don’t want them, using tax-payers’ money to do so...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

LDP and Abe are useless.

Just chair-heaters stuck in ruling position predominantly.

Only after komeito's opposition, Abe took decision.

Abe was ready to sacrifice Japanese lives. As expected from neoconservatives

4 ( +5 / -1 )

MarkXToday  08:57 am JST

Abe has to stand up and demand more from political leaders and bureaucrats, who are supposed to serve the people, not us who serve them!

He won't, though. He's one of their own, and as far as they're concerned the public exist for their benefit.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Again another opinionated biased article that does not address the epidemic domestically and the pandemic globally. The point is.. this is not a test of some action based upon public opinion when obviously when people are not comfortable and in many cases suffering to have any good "opinion" about anything. The key is on the final results of any action which is yet to come to be determined. The phrase "Teflon image" to begin with in the current context and environment brings out a negative connotation, indicating a political objective of the article.

To report about the action taken and its background and what it was intended to accomplish as stated by those that took the action may make sense. But to infer that Abe was forced to because of internal strife or because of strong public demand (both of which has not been clarified as to the stats and confirmed data) only defers the interpretation of this article to the already negative emotions of the public and feed discontent, when unity of effort and thought is needed in a positive direction.

There is too many uncertainties that even the medical doctors and economists are having to "interpret" which affects any decision making. The need is at the base of the economic pyramid which are the workers that support small businesses to large corporation and also pay the taxes. If it was Komeito, good for them to have suggested it and for Abe to have decided that it was of value which could be put into action within the financial capability of the government coffers and with future expectations of economic recovery. For him it is a risk he decided to take in a situation where it is damned if he did and if he did not in the eyes of people with different perspectives.

And the money paid has nothing to do with the Olympics or the timing of any action already taken.

I give him credit for taking some action to support the base of the economy. People who work and spend are the basic fundamentals of a sound economy and not the GDP. GDP is but a result of people working and being able to work productively.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Teflon, don't make me choke on my corona beer.

A pathetic media and a docile populace would make anyone Teflon-like.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

He's got nothing to worry about. There are no viable opposition parties that could produce a candidate to challenge him, and the population is completely disengaged from politics in any case.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Abenomics, Abenomasks and lately Abegun anti-virus medicine. Populism effect or coincidence?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Marcelito,

Good post..

Not a fan of Hashemite myself but if he shakes up this current pitiful system he gets my vote.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'll eat my hat if Abe doesn't come out of this smelling like roses, as usual. This country deserves the politicians it voted for.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

But the more he does, the more he seems to fail, with his recent efforts to reach out to a wary public backfiring badly.

Pretty much sums up his legacy in a nutshell

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Abe is voted in by whom? Not by the people. Are there delegates in each city? Can anyone give me a heads up on how it works here?

Always read of huge farmer support...how can so few old people control this gig?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Typical politicians.

they are supposed to represent us & be our voice in parliament. But they never listen to public opinion & always seem to have their own agenda in mind.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tom

Abe is voted in by whom? Not by the people. Are there delegates in each city? Can anyone give me a heads up on how it works here?

Abe is the leader of the LDP. Elections are held at regular terms. I think this is his third and final term. The leader is elected by the other LDP politicians in the Diet. When the party is in power like now, the leader of the LDP becomes the prime minister.

Like in Britain, the leader of the conservative party, like Johnson is elected by the common members of the conservative party. The labour leader is elected by the common members and a block vote from the trade unions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Coronavirus putting Abe's Teflon image to the test

Don't know about Teflon, more like Expanded Polystyrene.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I heard the Abenomask program seems very low quality and backfiring. Now, I have no hope for the Avigans. Remdesivir or whatever Gilead's drug is the most effective treatment right now. Shinzo Abe is an idiot to buy the Chinese words about Avigan. Japan will be swindled by both Abe and China.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've always liked Komeito's ideas but have despised them for being aligned with the LDP thus giving them majority power in government. I'd like to see Komeito throw their weight around more.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Answer for marcelito and Speed.

Komeito has always been characterized as a social democratic liberal party. Always fleeing from the postulates of the nationalist right. A hinge party carrying the most rational voice in political terms. And that it's very rare to see that in Japan. We can say that this is the rare exception in political life. Something that in most countries of the world is absolute normality.

Unfortunately Komeito's connection to the Sokka Gakkai cult. It discourages people from giving more electoral support in the general election. Without that linkage. The percentage of votes towards that formation would be much higher.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Komeito have campaigned to give the vote to foreigners.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“Teflon” image ? in the eyes of who?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There's an increasing amount of dislike for Abe, and this current Government's actions of late. Though when you look at the alternatives, I guess People (the local Japanese passport holders), will decide.... or will they ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Abe - San is making mistakes which I hate to admit.

As I understand it, "The Law" as it stands is hindering what Abe -San can do.

We in New Zealand have huge respect for your Prime Minister.

Best of luck Japan, Keep fighting.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

“Teflon” image ? in the eyes of who?

The numerous scandals (Cherry blossom event, Morimoto gakuen...) thrown at him miraculously don't seem to stick, hence "teflon".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

" ..... but I've been doing everything I can," Abe said."

Which obviously ain't enough!

If anyone in the "free economy" worked like him the person would be fired!

Too bad that this is impossible!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

take a pay cut Abe!

feel our pain Mr.Abenomask!

pathetic neocon elitist moron.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Who the heck has EVER called Abe "Teflon"? The guy's stomach is a rusty tin barrel, and he wavers even more than Hatoyama did. A Daiso frying pan alloy, maybe. Teflon, most certainly not.

And thank you again, Komeito, for forcing Abe to do something for the people for change. It's a shame he took the chance to screw us out of the 300,000, but at least we'll hopefully get this soon.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If he survives this mess he really is the Teflon don!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unfortunately Komeito's connection to the Sokka Gakkai cult.

It's no more of a cult than any sect of Buddhism.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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