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Japan ruling bloc election win could be too big for markets to swallow

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By Linda Sieg

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I remember before I came to live in Japan.

I was fed up with my home country's government. I felt change never seemed to happen fast enough. The news was filled with politicians all trying to be the leader, the boss. Every one had some policy or plan and it was fight after fight on the news about who's idea was right or wrong.

Now I live in Japan, where change never happens. No one wants to be the leader. No one has a policy or plan. The news is too afraid to tackle any topic with differing opinions or criticism.

Please, someone, convince the woman I'm related to by marriage to agree to leave this country.

11 ( +15 / -3 )

Revising the Constitution requires not only two thirds majority in both houses of parliament but also a majority vote in a national referendum. It's the people who will ultimately decide whether or not to revise the Constitution.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The Jiminto/Komeito government is a dumb machine. It rolls over everything. Japan has no counterculture and no breathing opposition. Ultimately, Abe-Komeito will drag down working people. It's a sad situation. I have to say the reporting in the English media is not very good. I see a lot of articles highlighting the meaningless horserace aspect with no real examination of what meaning or lacking of meaning speaks in those standing in front of the voters.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I read in the newspapers that the people aren't necessarily confident in Abe (even thought the LDP is up in the polls). It basically boils down to voting for the devil you know. They're concerned about the economy( and rightly so) and whether their stagnant wages will be able to keep themselves and their families fed. Abe on the other hand, is more concerned with revising the Constitution. Too bad even if it passes the through Diet, a public referendum (per Article 96) is needed-- and a majority of those in the public aren't in favor of that.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

To summarise the current situation:

The one part of Abenomics that had taken effect at all, the weakening of the yen, has been spectacularly reversed. No alternatives or plan B suggested by the government in its place. A majority of the population consistently opposes the proposed constitutional 'reinterpretation', before we even get to any revision. Okinawa universally opposed to the bases, as are many nationwide. A strong anti-nuclear current also being ignored. People may not care about the weakening of press freedoms which was the aim of the 'security' laws, but nobody was in favour of these.

So, where on earth is the opposition? Or rather, why is there no opposition? Conditions are ripe for Abe to get the trouncing of his life, which in any other democracy would be his certain destiny.

It's now or never.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

"A big win for Japan’s prime minister and his allies in a Sunday election would raise concern that the government will switch its focus from a stuttering economy to revising the post-war, pacifist constitution to ease constraints on the military. "

Ya think? These people will never, EVER learn.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

So I am not going to vote for LDP .

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Japanese people never fail to disappoint when it comes to elections, choosing the same LDP old men time after time. Surely, I think, they won't vote for Dishonest Abe again, given the failure of Abenomics and the man's feverish desire to change the constitution and remove rights from the people. But vote for him they do, like the proverbial turkeys voting for Christmas.

I expect they will also vote in another LDP governor of Tokyo even though the last three LDP men have been crooks. More of the same? "Yes please", say the Tokyo electorate.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

It"sme: shallots is bang on here. The Japanese shoot themselves in the foot and ask for more every time.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The Abe government has NEVER been focused on the economy. "Abenomics" is simply a distraction from the real work of the Abe regime: making Japan a military power again, and beautifying Japan's history: Japan as the HERO that freed Asia from European imperialism. And the big HERO is his grandpapa Kishi. This will be the view of high school students within the next few years. Just watch!

15 ( +15 / -0 )

" Many voters are reluctant to see proponents of the constitutional revision win big"

Yet, those same voters will reluctantly vote for the ruling coalition or not bother showing up to vote at all. Then once Abe gets re elected in a landslide and start revising the Constitution there will be gasps of surprise and some.lukewarm ineffective protests in Tokyo ( with protesters staying obediently where the cops tell them to so as to.not cause inconvenience, of course). Abe will mumble something about carefully listening to and considering people's opinions before doing whatever he wants anyway. So Japan can look forward to unwinding of Abenomics, sinking economy and continuing rise of the sabre rattling right wing. All under the guise of " protecting Japan and the people " against all those outside threats. There is no hope for the electorate, the sheeple here never learn. You reap what you saw....don't act all surprised in 12 months time.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

marcelitoJUL. 06, 2016 - 06:16PM JST

" Many voters are reluctant to see proponents of the constitutional revision win big"

Yet, those same voters will reluctantly vote for the ruling coalition or not bother showing up to vote at all.

It seems you do not understand how democracy works. Let me tell you the very basics, before you keep on your confusing remarks.

LDP supporters vote for LDP candidates, whereas DPJ supporters vote for DPJ candidates. There are a large number of people who are not interested in politics, who will not vote.

Those who do not want constitutional change vote for DPJ or Japanese Communist Party. Is it clear now?

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

Maybe too late. They're unchallenged, really. The real danger: the Japan domino will have a bad effect on the world. It's not just Japan going down, it's everyone. But Japan, Inc isn't awake. The dark cloud is above all of us. That's the real earthquake that's on the horizon.

Sorry to be so negative.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Revising the Constitution requires not only two thirds majority in both houses of parliament but also a majority vote in a national referendum. It's the people who will ultimately decide whether or not to revise the Constitution.

Right and do you actually think that the people who voted the LDP into power are suddenly going to abandon Abe?

The problem is that in each individual district the people are voting for "their" candidate and are not thinking about the LDP in general.

CH3CHO.....

It seems you do not understand how democracy works. Let me tell you the very basics, before you keep on your confusing remarks.

It is you that are confused because the remarks made by marcelito here

" Many voters are reluctant to see proponents of the constitutional revision win big" Yet, those same voters will reluctantly vote for the ruling coalition or not bother showing up to vote at all.

are basically right on the money. I can tell you from experience that many vote not because of what party the candidate is a part of but based upon the person themselves.

The DJP is not any better at getting their message out either, and many are retread LDP as well.

LDP supporters vote for LDP candidates, whereas DPJ supporters vote for DPJ candidates

You really dont understand Japanese politics if you think this is how folks vote.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

YubaruJUL. 06, 2016 - 07:27PM JST

LDP supporters vote for LDP candidates, whereas DPJ supporters vote for DPJ candidates

You really dont understand Japanese politics if you think this is how folks vote.

Let us see the recent survey by Asahi. http://www.tv-asahi.co.jp/hst/poll/201607/index.html

Q. Which party do you support?

LDP 42.2%

DPJ 15.0%

Komeito 3.9%

Communist 6.4%

Osaka Ishin 2.7%

Socialist 1.0%

No party 27.9%

Q. Which party are you going to vote for at the Upper House election?

(difference from party support rate)

LDP 31.4% (-10.8%)

DPJ 14.6%(-0.4%)

Komeito 5.5%(+1.6%)

Communist 7.5%(+1.1%))

Osaka Ishin 2.9%(+0.2%)

Socialist 1.0%(0.0%)

No answer 35.1%(+7.2%)

See how the party support rates match voting, except that many of the LDP supporters did not answer which party they are going to vote for.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

As i expected and predicted before-according to technical analysis-Yen is gonna reach 100 against Dollar,now it happened already.Markets know that government will do nothing till elections end,i expect to rebound after election,but wont be able to exceed 103 against Dollar,then goes up again to break 100Yen level to try 98.97(Fibonacci ratio).government wont take an action to intervene without arranging with States,but it sounds no way to avoid,The result of election-in case LDP bloc won majority-above mentioned scenario will happen.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Well, what a surprise this is, NOT! Japan is famous for voter apathy with a regular turn out of around 60%. At least 80% of these are politically motivated voters who are either on the 'favor role' or have business and investments related to the LDP's corporate crony policies. This time is special because they have the 18-20 year olds voting. I've spoken with all my college students (around 1,000) about it and very few of them even know where to vote, better less how or who to vote for. However, I did notice that they have been enticed to vote by an offering of free ice creams. What a flipping joke! I guess that, less than 1% of them will actually get out of bed and vote. The LDP will win the election by a landslide and as soon as the dust has settled the constitution change will hit the floor, closely followed by the 'deferred' sales tax hike and then, there will be another round of borrowing money from the BOJ to supplement the tax cuts. And, with a huge majority in the diet there will be nothing to stop them further seperating the classes making the rich richer and the poor poorer. Many should have noticed there are no campaigns to encourage people to vote. The LDP relies on voter apathy to maintain the position they have held for over 60 years with only three or four changes of government. Nothing will ever change! TIJ!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

CH3CHO - Thanks so much for enlightening me on your view of J-democracy at work. You can climb down from your soap box now. However what I said is a sad reflection of the true state of the farce that passes for democracy here. Pretty depressing really. But hey - shoo ga nai ne, we must gaman some more and trust the supreme leader to keep his word. I,m sure he will, won't he?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Check out Yohei Miyake. He's an indie reggae musician, and a Waseda Uni graduate running as an independent. He needs to work on elaborating on his policies, but most importantly he has millons of young people at least thinking about voting, whom otherwise would not. He brought Shibuya Hachiko-Mae to a standstill the other day with his "Election-Fest" (don't try to say this with a j accent). If I lived in Tokyo I'd vote for him. I will have to pick the best shot at stopping the 2/3 juggernaut in my riding.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

See how the party support rates match voting, except that many of the LDP supporters did not answer which party they are going to vote for.

You still don't understand the politics, Japanese people will, from experience as a voter here and one who has participated in numerous elections and campaigns for local candidates, vote for the person FIRST, party does not matter.

I know a guy, he is a staunch supporter and member of the LDP, last election he voted for a, related-only-through-marriage candidate from the communist party. Why you ask? Because the guy was the brother of his cousins wife.

I can give you numerous other examples like that from both sides of the aisle. Yeah they support the LDP and yeah many will vote for the LDP, because if you think about Japanese politics they don't know the candidates from the other parties, they aren't as popular nor well known nationally.

To keep this short, because it would take pages to explain it properly to someone such as you to get you to understand it, politics here.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

without the ability to discuss issues politics in Japan is mostly a popularity and who you know contest and very little to do with issues of any substance. Take any topic and go more than one step deep and you'll find out for yourself

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I will vote for the Kyosantou. They have been most consistent and is the least of the evils.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It's the people who will ultimately decide whether or not to revise the Constitution.

it is the people who are supposed to elect capable and responsible leaders. Has that happened? It is the people who are supposed to make politicians do as the people want, has that happened?

Never underestimate the foolishness of people when it comes to politics and government. Unlike other kinds of people, a politician can tell the broadest of lies, and pay no consequence at all. If the VW or Mitsubishi company lies about the mileage their cars get, the presidents are forced to resign, huge amounts are repaid in compensation to the buyers of the cars. If a company president lies about the financial well-being of his company, he can go to prison. If the likes of Abe lies, and his lie ends up causing the economy to lose 100 times as much as either of these companies lost in their mileage scandals, what happens? Nothing. The people are not repaid the losses, the prime minister of course doesn't resign, he stays in office, worse yet, he tells even more lies to get his party reelected.

One reason people becomes politicians is because they can say and do just about anything they want, and they answer to no one except each other; the people are irrelevant, they are mere sheep who are conditioned to vote along party lines.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

So Abenomics have been a failure (like many people predicted years ago), now Abe's trying to find success in the military? Good luck, especially to the people of Japan who never fail to make the same mistakes.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I've said it twice before and I'll say it again. If Abe and his cronies get their super majority, it will be the end of the Japan as we have known it. Their constitution-changing goals are right there on the LDP webpage.

The short list includes:

Changing Article 97 (fundamental human rights guaranteed by the Constitution are for all time inviolate) to an imposed set of "duties" (The people must respect the national flag, national anthem, and this Constitution.).

Eliminating a constitutional provision forbidding the appropriation of public funds "for the use, benefit or maintenance of any religious institution or association."

Freedom of speech would be curtailed: "engaging in activities with the purpose of damaging public interest or public order, or associating with others for such purposes, shall not be recognized."

Allow the prime minister's cabinet to enact law without the Diet: "The Cabinet may enact cabinet orders having the same effect as laws," and all persons must comply with the directives of national or other public institutions.")

What many Japanese don't seem to realize is that the constitution was written for them, the regular people by transforming the country from a militaristic, theocratic autocracy where the average Japanese had little to no say over their lot in life into a (somewhat) democratic system of equality and individual rights. And for those who lost power (ie. the samurai families, royalty and business oligarchs) have been quietly seething ever since, for they truly don't believe in individual rights and liberties. They want to bring back the old days, when the people knew their place and did what they were told. And if the people of Japan aren't more proactive about it, the old boys may soon get their wish.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Though it seems pretty well known,LDP will win,but i always say"expect the unexpected".In politics and life,never say never.Yen tries to try again-as shown-to move toward resistance 103,but wont be able to break,even if happens shortly,then will go up again too 100 yen against Dollar,Yes,i believe once LDP wins,Priority will be for changing constitution,there will be an intervene for favor of yen,but how far will be more easing money,hard to tell now,it depends.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Mr Mohamed: With all these foolproof exchange rate forecasts to hand you must be up to your ears in cash. Well done.

Personally, I believe that mathematical analyses of exchange rates are about as accurate as trying to forecast lottery numbers. That probably explains why I'm poor.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Scrole

It is complicated,for example,there are day analysis,hour analysis,and so on,within these short time trading there are ups and downs by billions of dollars.let alone if something happen,this may take you rocket high or hell bottom in seconds!!Even mega speculators lose money.Soros George is an example,he made billions of dollars when he bet against Asian Currencies in 1997,he destroyed currencies like Thai PAT,in days lost 40%against dollar!!Former prime minister of Malaysia Mahatir Mohamed said after S,George attack on their currencies"What Malaysia built in 40years,Soros George destroyed in a week",but whenb tried to play this game with Russia Putin,he lost i billion dollars)) Genius Soros George,the great speculator,forgot he is playing with one of greatest KGB gray foxes (gray fox is a terminology describe intelligence men).Any way its a big Casino,not for me or you,its only for mega players.everyone knows the rules of play,but not every one can win))

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Trust me, bait and switch is just on the other side of voting day. Abe is just waiting for the election to be over to come forth with his 'mandate' to revise the constitution, remilitarize, ignore the problems at home & yes, glorify his granddad.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Does anyone know if any LDP members would resist Abe on article 9 and firing up as many nuclear reactors as they can, or do they all vote like the "Borg Collective"?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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