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Gov't defends election over 'waste of money' criticism

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consumers took fright after the first rise in April, reining in their spending

They didn't want to see their funds fry away, I suppose...

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The government “should launch economic policies… rather than spending 60 billion yen on the election,” Keiichiro Asao, head of the minor opposition Your Party, said ahead of the announcement.

i.e. "Our party just broke up because of you. Wahhhh!!"

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

Dissolving the lower house and calling a snap election “is written in our constitution, and I think it’s natural for a prime minister to ask his voters” for their opinion.

A referendum on the issue would've been a more practical option than a snap election. Whatever the results, the economic situation will be the same if Abe returns, or another takes his place.

The best indicator of voters' opinion are the numbers coming in. Consumers reining in their spending isn't an endorsement of higher consumption taxes.

PM Abe and his government are a shambles.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

As usual, this Kabuki dance election is all about internal LDP factional politics and the battle between the economic elite for greater political capital and control of the political class.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

It appears this is an unnecessary election. If they are raising taxes, the election must be necessary to ask opinions of the people but they are putting off raising the taxes. Why do they have to ask opinions for that? Some explain that the majority of LDP are against putting off raising the consumer tax but if the tax is raised on schedule and economy slumps, Abe will be in a difficult situation and it will give chances for Aso and Ishiba who want to become the prime minister. Abe decided to dissolve the lower house and if LDP wins and his intention of putting off raising the tax approved, he will be able to stay as a prime minister.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Abe said Tuesday he was putting off an expected sales tax rise and calling a snap poll, to seek approval for the delay, insisting the issue of revenue-raising “is important in a parliamentary democracy”.

Since none of the other parties disagree with not-implementing the sales tax from 8% to 10%, what's the point of seeking approval with something most everyone agrees with? Abe said in the press conference that the election was a chance for voters to judge his economic plan or Abenomics as well as his push to restart nuclear reactors. Apparently he seen any of the polling on where the majority of the Japanese public stand onrestarts or he thinks the voters haven't been watching the news that shows Japan's economy contracted 1.6% mostly due to a decrease in consumer spending in July-Sept quarter or that wages haven't risen along with the rise in corporate profits.

Juminto will steal the election, since the general public see no viable option, then claim afterwards that he has a strong mandate to everything he has done since he popped from his mothers womb and then some added ones for good measure!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Since nothing ever gets done for the good of the average Japanese person, it seems like all elections in Japan are a waste of money.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

And where did that 60 billion yen come from?

That's OUR money.

He wants to spend OUR money to get elected again so that we can have more of the same?

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Putting off the expected sales tax increase .... until after the election, I strongly assume. And then he will go for it again. What kind of kabuki theater is all this?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

He needs a mandate for not doing something no one wants him to do? And because the country has money problems he wants to spend more of our money making his own position stronger? I really do hope the Japanese voting public sees through this mingy little worm's posturing and chuck him out on his ear. I know it's not likely, but it's also not impossible in the present climate; a friend who despite being a very nice lady is also a strong LDP supporter who up till now I have never heard breath a word against Abe and his policies, was fuming and spitting blood over the 'waste of money election' when I met her the day after it was announced. Let's hope more of the Japanese public have the same reaction.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

This is just a ploy to extend his term. He is well aware of the backlash from the proposed second sales tax hike will be political suicide and that is why he postponed it and called an election. Hopefully, enough people will get off their butts and actually to see this right-wing leader and his cronies sent back to the salt mines where they belong. Sadly though, I fear the voter turnout will only be around 50% (as usual) and the majority of those voters are themselves right-wing extremists.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

I don't want Prime Minister to decide Y60 billion election very easily though he still has 2 more years to go. Abe seems to not have any good reason for December election because he knows LDP would win the election whatever.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ego trip....nothing more nothing less, the rest is just camouflage.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

60 billion Yen of our money to try to save his own backside from the plotters in his own basement?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

“No taxation without representation,” Abe said,

Ok so I want representation , being a foreigner I cannot vote but have to pay taxes, so where is my representation or do I not have to pay your TAX ?>

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Is 60 billion yen supposed to be a bargain?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

“No taxation without representation,” Abe said,

Ergo as a non-Japanese who is not allowed to vote, I'm exempt from taxation, right? Thanks, Shin-chan!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"StromR" ... there you go! Paying taxes and all other kind of "stuff", but we don't have any voting rights at all. This topic was brought up some time ago .... without getting any results. I would like to have voting rights at least on local level. NO GO! Can't even support the candidate I like by distributing pamphlets and so on. It would be punishable under Japanese law (at least that's what is was something like 10 years ago). Guess we have to live without representation for the time being?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that Abe was within his rights to go to the polls early. No he is not and this decission just shows what he thinks of democracy. He is an arrogant, undemocratic nationalist and will lead Japan into catastrophe. The real motives for this election have nothing to do with the tax rise at all. He thinks he can do anything so long as he wins an election. "From now until next year, the Abe administration will be tackling even more divisive issues, such as restarting nuclear reactors and preparing laws to enable Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense. Before starting debate on these highly sensitive issues, why not get an election over and done with to secure a new, four-year mandate that will give the administration free hand in governance. This is what Abe has in mind--and voters must know it."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Well that's a great accompanying photo of the Japanese prime minister, arms crossed sitting in an opulent-looking chair while wearing an expensive suit. Abe looks like a defeated man who is not in great health. I believe he has vowed to resign if the LDP does not win a clear majority (238) of the 475-seat lower house (currently 480; will be reduced by 5 after next election). LDP currently holds 294 seats, so it would need to lose 57 to no longer have a majority.

Japan is officially in a recession and it is entirely the fault of Abe and his flawed economic policies. Common sense would dictate that the LDP really ought to fail to win a majority of seats in the 14 December election. Of course, the seats are grossly mal-apportioned in favor of rural areas. But there is no reason conservative rural residents should interpret two consecutive quarters of totally needless economic contraction in a manner any different from their urban counterparts. Those numbers are a symptom of a totally failed economic policy program. Who knows, maybe Japan's voters will shock everybody and force Shinzo Abe to resign.

Most unlikely scenario but one that would really send a strong message to Japan's nepotistic, sclerotic, hidebound, and basically clueless politicians: Abe losing his own district in Yamaguchi Prefecture. Honestly, the guy really deserves to lose. He's been in the Diet for 21 years, served two separate tenures as prime minister. He's had his chances and blown them. He is a man completely out of any good ideas for his fellow citizens and non-citizen residents of Japan.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Because we made a very important decision concerning people’s everyday lives and the economy, I decided that I should seek a fresh mandate,” Abe told a televised press conference.

I disagree with that,,i don't think this election is caring so deeply about people's everyday life, they just think about themselves. Yeah, spend 60 billion just for your own political position's sake.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

its clear that shinzo abe didnt spend his printed money correctly. perhaps i would think abe could spend his printed money on a better energy system and increase the industrial activity with different natural resources pulled out of the ground to fuel their reliance on themselves.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

By the way, does this mean that in case Abe wins, his office period will be automatically extended, so no elections in 2016? If so, then he got it made! Oh, and can someone out there make me smart, is it correct that 60 billion is a "6" with 10 "Zeroes"? I mean, this amount exceeds my imagination!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

HaraldBloodaxe,

Ergo as a non-Japanese who is not allowed to vote, I'm exempt from taxation, right? Thanks, Shin-chan!

Just don't try that one out if the tax office ever posts you a letter...

We non-Japanese can't donate money to our favoured political parties either. But we CAN donate money to those politicians who we DON'T like, and seek to get them into trouble! Let's try it out!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

“Creating a political vacuum at a time when we are still in need of economic stimulus should never happen,” he told the mass-selling Yomuiri Shimbun.

Yeah right, this politician wants stimulus money so he can award contracts to his cousins, nieces, and nephews, who will of course return the favour to him further down the road.

The one thing which should never have happened was all of the wasteful and kick-back driven stimulus projects. The big conglomerates and stock market got all the money, and our current crop of politicians will all benefit from amakudari positions with these places when they retire. Most Japanese got nothing out of the deal, and they will get nothing out of future stimulus spending either.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Dissolving the lower house and calling a snap election “is written in our constitution, and I think it’s natural for a prime minister to ask his voters” for their opinion.

Maybe that part of the constitution need to change. Looks like it was designed to waste peoples' resources and energy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“is written in our constitution, and I think it’s natural for a prime minister to ask his voters”

It's up to a leader to lead, not to waste all of their money despite protest and then claim its in their best interests or represents their desire to see said 'leader's' pet projects come into being. This is in no way an example of democracy in action, when the sole reason he's doing it is because he knows there is no one to run against him and it will solidify the one party's strength before they have a chance to lose it in the regularly scheduled election next year, and because he wants to push through his personal right-wing agenda and claim it's been approved by the voters because he won the election. This election is a farce, and yet another example of just how out of touch Abe is with the people, and how much he enjoys wasting their money and stoking his own ego.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

the J-media needs to stop meeting secretly with the prime minister every two weeks and decide if they want to be a microphone for the government OR journalists with a responsibility to uncover and report the facts. How about ending the press club for starters because this softball stuff belongs on Sesame Street.

A kisha club (記者クラブ kisha kurabu?), or "reporters' club", from the Japanese word kisha (記者?), meaning reporter, is a Japanese news-gathering association of reporters from specific news organizations, whose reporting centers on a press room set up by sources such as the Prime Minister's Official Residence, government ministries, local authorities, the police, or corporate bodies.

Institutions with a kisha club limit their press conferences to the journalists of that club, and membership rules for kisha clubs are restrictive. This limits access by domestic magazines and the foreign media, as well as freelance reporters, to the press conferences.

Democracy in Japan needs to mature and the press is what's holding it back!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

One aspect of the parliamentary system I loathe. Made far worse in that there is no opposition party worth the name. The assorted ego-driven losers in lieu of coalescing into a counter force that might do something good for the nation are happy to keep their small number of seats and continue feeding off the public and their corporate patrons. Not to mention they're utterly vacuous on policy.

Nevertheless, you reap what you sow. You want more nuclear power, arms exports, potential for war, enrichment of elites, a two-class society, intolerance of others and a slow but steady march to the right, continue to elect the LDP. Hard for me to pity people if they keep reelecting the folks who right this minute are ruining their future.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How many JP people will go to vote anyway? With the kind of collective conscience at work over here why should Tokyo Taro or Hanako be bothered with something like power politics?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is an election any more of a waste of money than what is being spent on expanding the military and the Olympics? A vote for the LDP is a vote for waste and extravagance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

LDP has been ruling as a politburo for over 60 years apart from a few years. Communist by the support of the "electorate " The same names gives comfort to the ill educated that overwhelm the voting public. Monty Python on a grand scale.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

60 BILLION yen, wow what a shed load of cash!! I thinking where that could be better spent, I keep thinking of housing, small business loans (no interest) to get small businesses up and running again, fishing boats, cafes, tourist stuff bringing tourists into out laying villages. new schools, the list goes on, although I support mr Abe but, this is unnecessary expenditure is a bit daft when your facing these problems within the economy, especially when its just for votes and politics,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Could we please start using the correct name for Japan's recent financial policy — Abe-gnome-ics

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope that the LDP lose enough seats that they no longer have 2/3 of the total. That would stop Abe from changing the constitution and would be one good thing to come out of this big waste of time and money election.

It's unfortunate that the opposition are utterly useless, self-centred buffoons. Pick two at random and you will find three different views on any given matter.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When we talk about cutting the waste in Japan, this kind of Govt’s spending should be on the top of the list. But the question is: do Japan’s leaders really care about the country or themselves? The answer is obvious.

If this kind of democracies in disguise for personal gains is hailed by someone, I am speechless.

That is why folks from both isles on the Hill show little respect to Abe’s admin, something is hopeless here!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope the Election mandate does not include Casino licensing.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A referendum on the issue would've been a more practical option than a snap election. Whatever the results, the economic situation will be the same if Abe returns, or another takes his place.

A referendum only applies to 'revising the Constitution'. Furthermore, by instituting the referendum, you are basically opening up to more costs as well as eliminating the legislature all together.

Well that's a great accompanying photo of the Japanese prime minister, arms crossed sitting in an opulent-looking chair while wearing an expensive suit. Abe looks like a defeated man who is not in great health. I believe he has vowed to resign if the LDP does not win a clear majority (238) of the 475-seat lower house (currently 480; will be reduced by 5 after next election). LDP currently holds 294 seats, so it would need to lose 57 to no longer have a majority.

The photo is during the Upper house committee where the bill was concerning the revitalization of the urban areas which the opposition parties had previously decided to attend but did not do so after the announcement of dissolution by Abe. Hence, it was the opposition that decided to create a 'vacuum'.

Japan is officially in a recession and it is entirely the fault of Abe and his flawed economic policies. Common sense would dictate that the LDP really ought to fail to win a majority of seats in the 14 December election. Of course, the seats are grossly mal-apportioned in favor of rural areas. But there is no reason conservative rural residents should interpret two consecutive quarters of totally needless economic contraction in a manner any different from their urban counterparts. Those numbers are a symptom of a totally failed economic policy program. Who knows, maybe Japan's voters will shock everybody and force Shinzo Abe to resign.

The two consecutive quarter decrease occurred as a result of increase in consumption tax. This is a no brainer when you actually look into the GDP numbers where the two decreases are private residential investment (-6.7%) and corporate investment. (-0.2%)-i.e. big ticket items.

Also, the top 5 voting districts (Hokkaido 1st, Tokyo 1st, Tokyo 3rd, Tokyo 5th, Hyogo 6th) were all won by LDP candidates so please, spare your uneducated Western origin cliche.

Most unlikely scenario but one that would really send a strong message to Japan's nepotistic, sclerotic, hidebound, and basically clueless politicians: Abe losing his own district in Yamaguchi Prefecture. Honestly, the guy really deserves to lose. He's been in the Diet for 21 years, served two separate tenures as prime minister. He's had his chances and blown them. He is a man completely out of any good ideas for his fellow citizens and non-citizen residents of Japan.

ala Hatoyama lead regime change? No thank you. I think the general public learned a harsh lesson not to vote for 'pie in the sky' manifesto. If anybody 'deserves' to lose are thosekey lawmakers who went along with this. Got one to retire. Hope to get a couple more ousted in this next coming election.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Seriously, an anonymous cheerleader for Shinzo Abe prowling the comments threads of Japan Today? Yes, cheerleaders for Abe can rest assured that he will still be prime minister of Japan come January 1. The LDP won't lose this election, and Abe is not losing in his own district, as I'm sure the Abe machine will deliver the votes in Yamaguchi.

What I cannot comprehend is why anybody would actually cheerlead for Abe (unless the prospect of seeing him visit Yasukuni Shrine next year on August 15 and figuratively extend his middle finger to China and South Korea is the thing that you really, truly care about).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Gov't defends election over 'waste of money' criticism

They are not complaining because how much it's going to cost, they are complaining because they are scared. They are scared that if Prime Minister Abe and the LDP win that they will use it to push them aside. And hopefully the LDP trounces the other party's once more and is able to finally get Japan out of the political quagmire the opposition has tried to create. Then Prime Minister Abe and the LDP will be able to steer Japan's diplomatic, economic and domestic future on a more prosperous course. Waiting for Article 9 to get the big boot so I can celebrate!

ScroteNov. 20, 2014 - 07:54PM JST It's unfortunate that the opposition are utterly useless, self-centred buffoons. Pick two at random and you will find three different views on any given matter.

This is the first things that you said that holds any weight and one of the reasons why the Japanese voters will reelect the LDP. Not to mention how completely inept and useless the other party's are. The DPJ nearly sunk Japan, The CPJ would destroy it and the SPJ could buy a new idea if they had all the money in the world.

Each and everyone of them would rather have Japan stay in the bottle and continue to be a pawn. The opposition in Japan is disorganized and lacks any leadership or vision.

EthanWilberNov. 20, 2014 - 09:15PM JST That is why folks from both isles on the Hill show little respect to Abe's admin, something is hopeless here!

If that was remotely true Prime Minister Abe wouldn't be the President of the LDP and he would be out as Prime Minister. The only folks that hold him in contempt are his political enemies (DPJ, CPJ, Your Party and SDP) the better known as the opposition.

Kobuta ChanNov. 21, 2014 - 01:34AM JST I hope the Election mandate does not include Casino licensing.

I hope it does.

MASSWIPENov. 21, 2014 - 04:04AM JST Yes, cheerleaders for Abe can rest assured that he will still be prime minister of Japan come January 1.

If we are his cheerleaders your side are his Fearleaders. BTW, the sky hasn't fallen and neither has the Nikkie it's u again! It appears that this little recession hasn't struck fear into the hearts of investors...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Abenonmics= Recession=Fail!

But don't worry,it's nothing a mega Olympic (or two or three) stadium(s) won't put right........

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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