politics

Voters to Abe: Why call an election now?

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Could it be because the stuff is going to hit the fan soon, and he wants to solidify his base before the public realizes that Abenomics is all smoke and mirrors?

Not that there is anything anyone can do to give Japan a gentle landing after decades of poor policies.

25 ( +26 / -1 )

I wonder who created this enormous public debt in the first place.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Nearly two-thirds of Japanese voters don’t understand why Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is calling a snap election next month

I am squarely in that nearly two-thirds. I read somewhere that the amount this election will cost is approximately the same as the cost of the temporary housing for victims of 3/11 in Iwate. I guess when you don't have to worry about money in your life, you don't care about other people's money either.

31 ( +31 / -0 )

If they're going to dissolve the Lower House, why don't they just keep it that way. How irresponsible using 70 billion yen of our taxpayer's money for the election.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Abe has said he would resign if his coalition - which holds two-thirds of the lower house seats - fails to win a simple majority, an outcome experts dismissed as almost impossible

Either this or when his tummy starts acting up again. It's an ego trip that is shaping up to be him potentially shooting himself in the foot or worse. He THINKS the people are with him, but his policies have done little if anything to help the common folk down on the street, in fact they are worse off than before.

I wonder who created this enormous public debt in the first place.

I find that hard to believe....in fact it's incredulous to me.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Well....there's one sure-fire way for these "confused" voters to show their displeasure: vote anyone but LDP! At this point, it's just about all they CAN do.

It's easy, and it will save them a lot more economic pain scheduled by Abe to be coming down the pike if he gets a renewed mandate. Easier firing policies, more relaxed labor standards, increased emphasis on "contracted" workers with far less rights...

If there's one thing the average Japanese feels intuitively that is absolutely right, it's that Abenomics was and is a set of policies designed to help the richest of the the rich first and foremost...in the hope that some tiny offshoot of benefits "trickle down" to the 80% who aren't wealthy or put most of their money into the irrational exuberance of the Japanese stock market.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

But 44.4% were undecided, while about half said they hoped that the ruling and opposition parties would end up evenly matched in the powerful chamber after the election.

Abe-san, montezuma's revenge ring a bell?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"Self-satisfaction" - that's what I would call it! Now he still has a chance to win.

This even more due to the poor participation of voters (guess it will be less than 50%).

6 ( +6 / -0 )

He will do it now because it gives him a chance to remove people who don't support him, and because the opposition is not ready with an opposing candidate that anyone would vote for. If he wins, which he will, it also means he can claim support for his direction toward a more aggressive military, toward starting more nuke plants, and toward a weak yen.

This really has nothing to do with an efficient use of money nor with what the voters think. The voters don't have much power unless they are unified and aggressive in their opposition. They just don't really matter, because they aren't. Plus, who would they vote for? This election is about gaining and keeping power, and Abe is pretty good at it. If the opposition parties want to oppose, they need to get with the program and be as good at politics as Abe is.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

I wonder, does Abe have campaign fans?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People are talking about the monetary cost of this election but we shouldn't forget about the environmental cost with all those wooden boards used to plaster candidates faces around neighbourhoods (are these still coming from another country's tropical forests?), all the extra CO2 from vans driving around with screaming heads yelling out names and all the extra leaflets full of the same old empty promises stuffed into mailboxes. What a waste!

3 ( +8 / -5 )

How can Japan goverment be so blind. The sales tax increase had a bigger braking effect on the economy than expected, reducing consumer spending and blocked out the fragile recovery. Abe is clueless. There is only one reason Abe is calling for election now is the fear that things will be only worse if he waits. If he keeps going to Yasukuni, fragile trade with China will get much worse for Japan.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

@Yubaru

I wonder, does Abe have campaign fans?

Yes. I imagine one would be the regular poster here who constantly proclaims his superior Japanese skills and whose condescending posts read like those written by a conservative-wing LDP spin doctor / policy wonk.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Dumb question. Shows how clueless most Japanese voters are about what is really going on here....

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Why call an election now?

Ulterior motives, plain and simple. Abe claims that he is calling for snap elections to weigh public support for his delay of the sales tax hike. Obviously that is a conniving pretext, particularly given that a vast majority of the public are firmly against the increase.

Abe aims to strike while the iron is hot, and before his diminishing popularity erodes further, and before the opposition which is now in complete disarray can get its act together (although that may never happen).

These elections will enable the LDP to easily extend their guarantee of control to four more years to 2018, from two more years without a snap election. This will also enable Abe to take unpopular and controversial steps — like restarting nuclear reactors and reinterpreting Japan's constitution to allow for overseas deployment of military forces — without repercussions.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

You have to love a 'leader' who decides, after solid proof his decisions has been wrong, that needs to tell a public that clearly does not approve of an election that 'we need an election to prove you approve of what I'm doing'. The fact that he needs to explain it to an unhappy public shows that they do NOT approve of what he's doing at all.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

over 63% did not understand why Abe was calling the election now

That would be over 63% that don't understand the politics of politics. He is calling an early election before he drops his third bomb/arrow of the second sales tax increase cos he knows he will become public enemy number one after its effects hit households. If he calls an election now while is popularity still hovers around 50% he'll be set to do another three years of his worst to install even more right-winged fascist legislation into Japanese politics.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

It seems that Abe just wants Prime Minister's office 4 more years after win of December election and wants to pass coming all bills he wants and finally wants to change articles of contitution during LDP ruling.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As Farmboy and Onagagamo state above, Abe simply knows he is in trouble and needs to solidify his power while there is no viable opposition. Then he can get right back to doing what he wants while saying "what are y'all whining about? You elected me!"

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I really don't understand why so many people are against the election, if I remember correctly, 80% of the people here are avidly against the things Abe has been pushing (secret act, restarting nuclear power plants, collective self defence and attempted changes to article 9). Then Abe gives voters the opportunity to shoot him down and now everyone is pissed about that.

It seems everyone here hates him so much that they have prejudice against anything or everything he does, even if it was what they have been asking for for months leading up to the announcement.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@blvtzpk

Yes. I imagine one would be the regular poster here who constantly proclaims his superior Japanese skills and whose condescending posts read like those written by a conservative-wing LDP spin doctor / policy wonk.

I'm pretty sure Yubaru was talking about hand held fans like the ones his newly appointed female member got busted for, not supporters.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm pretty sure Yubaru was talking about hand held fans like the ones his newly appointed female member got busted for, not supporters.

Yes, I was, sorry for the confusion. I would love to get my hands on a few and show him the door!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There is only 25% of population who support LDP but most will not support it as well as other parties.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The politbeaurou has decided that continuing the nepotism is the way forward until another inbred is ready to be anointed as leader further into an abyss. Why elections? Better just to give leadership to the least genetically viable individual in the country....oh that's what is happening!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Cynical purely political posturing by Abe. This is the same as our dear leader Hashimoto in Osaka holding a fake election to try to consolidate power, which did not work.

The opposition has a chance to cut back on the LDP stranglehold on politics now. But as the article points out it may not possible as they hate each other more than they care about the future of Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

To quote Peter Barakan : " What is wrong with this country??? They get to call an election for no reason at all, when everybody knows that there 0% chance of any change, and it's going to cost some 70,000,000,000 yen in taxpayer money.......in any self-respecting democracy that would be more than enough reason for rioting in the street, and what do we get? Not a bloody whimper! "

11 ( +12 / -1 )

purpose of election, To spend 60 billion yen so that it will have a good explanation to raise sales tax.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

He's hoping to steal an extension to his time in office by confusing the sleeping Japanese voters

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I really don't understand why so many people are against the election, if I remember correctly, 80% of the people here are avidly against the things Abe has been pushing (secret act, restarting nuclear power plants, collective self defence and attempted changes to article 9). Then Abe gives voters the opportunity to shoot him down and now everyone is pissed about that.

So true. You notice that many here have not even posted a single alternative plan, pretty much like the opposition parties.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

Abe is not giving anyone a chance to shoot him down because he knows there is no opposition. He will be re-elected by a landslide due to the warped voting districts that favour the LDP's rural base. He will then have 4 years instead of 2 to carry on his reckless policies. The taxpayers' will continue their financial support of his vested interests of course. This is why he is calling the election.

Additionally, Abe's already extreme control of the media will be hugely extended from next month. He can win an election easily, elected by elderly rural voters, claim he has a mandate, then silence the only bits of Japanese media that are ever even vaguely non-compliant. The fact that he also wastes 60-70 billion yen is irrelevant as he doesn't have any respect for normal Japanese people and only favours the elite. The most tragic thing is that there is not even an opposition to this nationalist idiot and his ridiculous policies because the DPJ was also hopeless in government and the families won't support them again. The only other options are men like Hashimoto and Ishihara, who are even more extreme than Abe is. Banri Kaieda as the main opposition leader? It's disturbing.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

F4HA604

I’m not against it and I hold out very thin hopes that people have been unsettled enough by his actions that they attempt to limit the party’s potential for further mischief. I prefer the incompetent and ideologically vacuous DPJ to the “competent” but clearly evil LDP. After all, “Mussolini made the trains run on time.” I admit that the DPJ and LDP seem cut from the same neoliberal cloth.

“There is only 25% of population who support LDP but most will not support it as well as other parties.”

I guess that might be true, given how many parties there are but this reminds me of those who bemoan LDP’s traditionally rural support. Given Ishihara’s long stranglehold on power in Tokyo, or Hashimoto’s present allure in Osaka, clearly conservative politics, regardless of party, has broad support in all areas of Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Distract attention from the mess he is creatiing

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Nigelboy: "So true. You notice that many here have not even posted a single alternative plan, pretty much like the opposition parties"

Simple: don't have an election. Or did you mean alternatives for Abe's pet projects? Simple: don't implement them, as the majority wants. Or did you mean the economy? Simple: cut wasteful government spending. Just because you don't like the answers, nigelboy, does not mean they have not been offered. But you choose not to read or listen, same as Abe. You support wasting money on something no one wants while claiming that somehow proves they want it if you like. The ret of us will continue to exercise common sense and point out how unnecessary the election is.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Vote down the LDP. Put in Mickey Mouse.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Regardless of the strategic timing and catching the opposition off-guard, this election is important because he is about to double-down on his plans, putting Japan's future at even further risk. The attitudes of the 66% who don't know why this election is taking place show that democracy in this country doesn't really function as it's supposed to. Basically, the electorate are mostly saying "just take care of it" and don't want any of the responsibility for what follows. It's understandable, but tragic at the same time. The people have the power to decide their own fate here, but don't even seem to realize it. Equally shocking is that at this moment, the opposition has not created a clear alternative to the LDP's vision and plans. This election is a joke, but only because the voters and challenging parties make it so.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

http://www.japantoday.com/smartphone/view/politics/voters-to-abe-why-call-an-election-now

"We need to focus on the possible supplementary budget, and not just the delay of the sales tax increase," said Masashi Murata, Senior Currency Strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman.

http://commentary.stock-trkr.co.uk/us-dollar-holds-advance-ecb-talk-japan-snap-election-bets

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nigelboy Nov. 21, 2014 - 09:51AM JST

So true. You notice that many here have not even posted a single alternative plan, pretty much like the opposition parties.

"alternative plan" to what? States Secret legislation? Police were already able to arrest nearly everyone for nearly anything, with Japanese laws intentionally written so vaguely. Just ask Takichi Nishiyama, a former reporter for the Mainichi Shimbun who uncovered the secret pact on the U.S. reversion of Okinawa to Japan and the hell the Japanese government put him through for decades if you're not convinced. Ask him what he thinks of Abe's States Secrets law? Here's a link if you want to know.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/11/15/national/ex-mainichi-reporter-blasts-abes-push-for-secrets-bill/#.VG6Yd8nkhEw

My power hasn't been shut off and as far as I can tell there are plenty of people calling for Japan to push renewable energy which the big power companies resist. Besides, the majority of Japanese don't want nuclear but Abe doesn't care. Alternative to collective self-defense, ah, the past 60 years seemed to do the trick. Alternative to changing Article 9, how about having had an open and honest discourse with the public instead of ramming it down their throats seems like the alternative the opposition and the majority of Japanese had been asking for as well as deserved on such an important pillar of Japanese society.

So an alternative to an election? Let me think! Ah, how about acting like a leader which is what the citizens expect and stop wasting our time with the games, lead with humility instead of arrogance which the citizenry are tired of, which is evident by the just over 63% who don't understand why Abe is calling the election as well only 25.3% of voters planning to cast ballots for the LDP.

But individuals like yourself and the media will then say after the election, which EVERYONE knows will be a landslide victory for the LDP due to no viable replacement for the LDP, that the results clearly reflect the overwhelming support given to Abe's policies and past achievements and that he was given a strong mandate to push forward with whatever he dreams up next.

Can't really claim to win a race when you're the only one running, and you have the starter's pistol in your hand to boot.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

BOJ stimulus package was stunning, a water into wine moment, Governor Kuroda five loafs and two fishes scenario 'QE9', a lesson in 'debt monetization', hence the BOJ hoovering up 7 to 10 year J gov bonds driving nominal GDP to 5%, a tax on savings. QE motoring at some 1.3pc per month x3 the pace of the FED. No wonder a snap election, the possible supplementary budget after the pole is going to be political dynamite. Only achievable in for any political party to survive in a early parliament.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

what I don't understand is that people all over the world are listening to the politicians promising the impossible. world as a whole is in recession, we all live to hi and spend to much. For years we have had economy grow in euros and dollars but in reality it was a imaginary growth because we simply borrowed to keep buying mostly useless garbage dump filling goods just to keep the economy growing. This is an unnatural way of doing things and it can't go for ever. Imagine a forest you own and you cut exponentially more threes year after year but forest grows so fast that there is always more threes to cut. That is what we are imagining our world to be like but in the nature things do not work that way. Economy that depends on artificially created need and demand simply for the sake of increasing the amount of fictitious wealth in the banks and bankbooks of few wealthy eccentrics is all wrong and it will fail under its own weight. So Abenomics or Obamanomics or Euronomics is like trying to walk on water while wearing lead booths.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@jcapan

I’m not against it and I hold out very thin hopes that people have been unsettled enough by his actions that they attempt to limit the party’s potential for further mischief. I prefer the incompetent and ideologically vacuous DPJ to the “competent” but clearly evil LDP. After all, “Mussolini made the trains run on time.” I admit that the DPJ and LDP seem cut from the same neoliberal cloth.

The LDP "neoliberal?" Are you sure you know what "liberal" means?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Simple: don't have an election. Or did you mean alternatives for Abe's pet projects? Simple: don't implement them, as the majority wants. Or did you mean the economy? Simple: cut wasteful government spending. Just because you don't like the answers, nigelboy, does not mean they have not been offered. But you choose not to read or listen, same as Abe. You support wasting money on something no one wants while claiming that somehow proves they want it if you like. The ret of us will continue to exercise common sense and point out how unnecessary the election is.

Those aren't alternatives I was hoping for but it's typical. Go against everything what Abe does. Fine. Let's start with economy. You stated "cut wasteful government" spending. Great. List them and explain why they are 'wasteful' and by cutting them, how does it improve the economy?

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

The LDP "neoliberal?" Are you sure you know what "liberal" means?

Neoliberal as in Milton Friedman? You know, what Naomi Klein skewered so wonderfully in the Shock Doctrine, the IMF austerity ghouls? Liberal as in FDR, LBJ. They're about as different as two ideologies can get. The one in a position of unquestioned global dominance for decades, the other with no significant power for the same period--thus the unrelenting decline in our lives and societies.

http://www.japanfocus.org/-HerbertP-Bix/3927

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Vote down the LDP. Put in Mickey Mouse.

There's no doubt in my mind that Mickey would win. He seems like a regular guy and these types of politicians usually prevail. Who wouldn't want to drink a beer with Mickey?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Abe has to remind himself,,he is a leader, not an emperor or king of any kind who can just use 60 or 70 billion without consulting or listening to his people.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

nigelboy Nov. 21, 2014 - 11:23AM JST

Go against everything what Abe does. Fine. Let's start with economy. You stated "cut wasteful government" spending. Great. List them and explain why they are 'wasteful' and by cutting them, how does it improve the economy?

I give credit where credit is due and I criticize, in my mind, when it's warranted. I want Japan to succeed therefore I want Abe to do all he can to lead this country forward and into prosperity. He made the right choice, in my laymen's mind with regards to not raising the consumption tax, and I commend him for doing so and think it was wise to hold a press conference to explain himself. I do wish though that he had not rung out a list of his so-called achievements and then tell us that this election will let the voters judge him and his policies. Abe did not need to convince the vast majority of Japanese that a tax-delay was necessary as most people had wanted him to do just that. What most people were waiting for was Abe to lay out an alternative plan for how to turn the economy around in terms meaningful to them and which would have a positive impact on their lives. He missed an opportunity to connect with the people and unite us but instead called an election meant only to divide.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

"alternative plan" to what? States Secret legislation?

So, would you rather have National security emergency plans, codes, protocols, to be of common knowledge readily available to anyone? Let's make it simpler. Do you think it's necessary for any State to have information that are 'classified' which are not designated for the general public?

My power hasn't been shut off and as far as I can tell there are plenty of people calling for Japan to push renewable energy which the big power companies resist. Besides, the majority of Japanese don't want nuclear but Abe doesn't care. Alternative to collective self-defense, ah, the past 60 years seemed to do the trick. Alternative to changing Article 9, how about having had an open and honest discourse with the public instead of ramming it down their throats seems like the alternative the opposition and the majority of Japanese had been asking for as well as deserved on such an important pillar of Japanese society.

I'm quite positive that if people who are actually pushing for renewable and are willing to pay for the added FIT as well as the associated additional costs as a result of the unstable energy source incurred by the energy companies, they are more than willing to go that route. Didn't pan out, did it?

Right of limited collective self defense, a basic right guaranteed by the U.N. Charter. What was decided are cabinet decision. In order to be effective, it has to be interpreted by law (amendment). This is where the public can voice their opposition by not reelecting him thereby such bill will never set foot in the Diet.

So an alternative to an election? Let me think! Ah, how about acting like a leader which is what the citizens expect and stop wasting our time with the games, lead with humility instead of arrogance which the citizenry are tired of, which is evident by the just over 63% who don't understand why Abe is calling the election as well only 25.3% of voters planning to cast ballots for the LDP.

Ok. His "leadership" is in question. Vote him out. Or is it that people who are questioning the timing of the election don't feel the necessity as most posters here with their "gloom and doom" rants?

But individuals like yourself and the media will then say after the election, which EVERYONE knows will be a landslide victory for the LDP due to no viable replacement for the LDP, that the results clearly reflect the overwhelming support given to Abe's policies and past achievements and that he was given a strong mandate to push forward with whatever he dreams up next.

No viable replacement=no alternative ideas just like you.

Your rant sounds exactly like those who are demonstration "No xxxx". "No xxxxx"

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

Dumb question. Shows how clueless most Japanese voters are about what is really going on here.... exactly... seriously you must be brain dead if you cant see past the BS, Abe best time for re-election is now, the delay of the second tax hike will seem that he cares about the average Taro and want to spare them more pain, when the hike hits and the uncertain future of the economy his support base will more than likely go down not up in the coming yrs. winning next months election will guarantee him another 4yrs in power. im surprised anybody actually votes in Japan since most have NFI about J politics

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Vote down the LDP. Put in Mickey Mouse.

Good call. HE could hardly  do worse, and he has broad mainstream appeal

4 ( +4 / -0 )

nigelboy - you asked for an alternative and one was given - no election.

Many people from all sides of the political spectrum have expressed their opinions staitnig an election is unecessary(he already has a clear mandate), time consuming and costly.

It can only be about him and his standing in the ldp. He needs it for himself to push off those eying his spot and to get another 4 years in before his poll #s decline too much.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The announcement of the snap December election just as well have been accompanied to the sound of the inevitable LDP political bulldozer revving relentlessly, as the opposition parties dive for cover and close the hatch.

Abe san driving through policy that will see nuclear power station restarts, rumoured to be as many as 12, attached to a trailer load of economic policy that will send shock waves in the direction of China and SK.

As the Oil price war between Saudi A and US fracking giants forces oil prices to $70 per barrel, Abe/BOJ will take the Yen dollar ratio  tumbling to 120's.

Remember Barron Asia two golden rules

1) Never underestimate the amount of pain that the Japanese electorate will bear willing, as long as the pain is taken together, and is seem to be borne for the good of the community.

2) Never underestimate the willingness of Japanese politicians to test rule 1)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

nigelboy Nov. 21, 2014 - 11:58AM JST

Mr. Perfect "alternative plan" to what? States Secret legislation?

So, would you rather have National security emergency plans, codes, protocols, to be of common knowledge readily available to anyone? Let's make it simpler. Do you think it's necessary for any State to have information that are 'classified' which are not designated for the general public?

No, I would have liked Abe and his team to have drafted a bill, in co-operation with the opposition, to address those issues ONLY but that was not Abe's intention nor was it written to deal with the situations you described. Abe went light years beyond your list by giving unlimited powers to the ministries and agencies to determine themselves, without restraint, what should or shouldn't be classified as state secrets. The intention of this legislation was to empower the government and ministries and to shield them from unwanted inquiries into the internal affairs of each.

After the DPJ administration humiliated the bureaucrats by shedding some light into their mismanagement and misappropriations of tax payer monies, Abe and his team must have been under pressure from the bureaucrats from having a future administration do it all over again. Didn't anyone notice that the bill went through several drafts that watered down watchdog provisions, and only due to Komeito's refusal to support the measure, and even the final legislation left open the details regarding who who be left to oversee that role. Lets not forget that Abe had inserted a clause to impose a substantial fine and imprisonment of any legislator who divulged any information he or she was privy to as these lawmakers would be the only ones who would have final say on what could be classified and for how long, maybe indefinitely as well as being the only ones who could be whistle-blowers on abuse of the powers. That's right, he intentionally targeted lawmakers as well as reporters. And who will have the power to judge whether information should be kept classified while Abe is in power, Juminto lawmakers of course with a Juminto chairman to decide what documents get to the committee.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

This country is getting more & more FUBAR, man today is one of those days I really regret putting roots down here, young people must be really having trouble keeping it together with the way the country is headed WTF!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

itsonlyrocknrol Nov. 21, 2014 - 01:01PM JST

Remember Barron Asia two golden rules

1) Never underestimate the amount of pain that the Japanese electorate will bear willing, as long as the pain is taken together, and is seem to be borne for the good of the community.

2) Never underestimate the willingness of Japanese politicians to test rule 1)

Will have to remember this one!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

hampton

I disagree, the lack of a clear / viable oppostion doesn't equate to him not giving the people a chance to vote otherwise and shoot him down. Like the article says, losing 30-40 seats can turn things around, and he is wagering that.

It may well be that the lack of viable alternatives will result in the LDP winning again, but its still a democratic opportunity for citizens to choose otherwise nonetheless. Noda of DPJ played the same cards and lost just a few years back.

As for your comment on his grasp on the media, many news outlets (hodo station,morning bird, sukkiri, etc) have been clearly opposed to Abe's stance/policies on their shows, whether it be about the secret act, nuclear power policy, take on war-time history or this snap election. Most of them also criticize abenomics as a failure as well. We must be watching different channels?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is all about arrogance and consolidation of power.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hi Mr Perfect, The thought sprang to mind when one considers the exorbitant electoral costs, beyond reason, certainly warrant justification, economic evaluation and efficiency assessment.

Surely the electorate at large should be questioning how this huge figure is arrived at.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

itsonlyrocknroll Nov. 21, 2014 - 04:19PM JST

Surely the electorate at large should be questioning how this huge figure is arrived at.

Unfortunately the Japanese have become desensitized to any of this political circus. My wife ignores me or just shrugs her shoulders and says "shoganai". I'm starting to understand why as the people have chosen to be submissive, tolerant or just close their eyes. I watch the news from Hong Kong and the student demonstrations and their intense interest in their democracy and ask myself what would it take to get the Japanese youth to take notice, rise and demand change with the determination and energy we've seen over there. My conclusion, the only thing that would spark a fire under their behinds would be that the government restrict their internet access and they can't access YouTube or whatever else it is that they have their eyes welded to.

Japan's would have been better served had Douglas MacArthur not done away with the former political system, let the land barons hold on to their properties and left the Zaibatsu (財閥) in place. At some point the peasant class would have had enough as they continued to suffer from the lack of necessities after the war and an uprising would have occurred at some point and people would have earned their democracy with their own blood sweat and tears. They themselves could have made a constitution of their own and wouldn't be whining on and on about how GHQ forced them to take theirs. They would have an appreciation for the freedom they themselves earned instead of the current system where they are zombies shackled to a system that's only purpose is to protect and serve the privileged class and bureaucrats who wait on them.

Shoganai........

1 ( +3 / -2 )

why he called election? cos he want to be elected out and not run away like last time. even he figured out that japan is bankcrupt and a default and loss in currency will come in near future.

if you hold all your money in japanese yen you better rethink!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There is no opposition now, but I fear that Abe will do so badly that in four years time there will be. Abe will win, borrow, print, inflate, hold the Olympics and then go Greek, and then we will have Hashimoto, who makes Abe look like a dove.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@F4HA604

Why are people against the election you say? Please read many of the comments carefully. Many people articulated the reasons clearly.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I just heard Ichiro Ozawa say on NHK that Abe is holding this snap election for his own personal gain.

Ha ha ha ha, lol, anything Ozawa says is for his own personal gain. I think this snap election is an excellent chance for voters to express their support or their opposition to Abenomics.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This announcement of a snap election in Japan so soon after the last one has indeed come as a surprise not only to the Japanese people but also people in other countries following developments in Japan. Whether it was the right decision or not will be known within a month's time when the elections will have been held and results announced! Though the opposition in Japan is unprepared for an election now and their chances are bleak, there is an element of uncertainty in Japanese politics!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I give credit where credit is due and I criticize, in my mind, when it's warranted. I want Japan to succeed therefore I want Abe to do all he can to lead this country forward and into prosperity. He made the right choice, in my laymen's mind with regards to not raising the consumption tax, and I commend him for doing so and think it was wise to hold a press conference to explain himself. I do wish though that he had not rung out a list of his so-called achievements and then tell us that this election will let the voters judge him and his policies. Abe did not need to convince the vast majority of Japanese that a tax-delay was necessary as most people had wanted him to do just that. What most people were waiting for was Abe to lay out an alternative plan for how to turn the economy around in terms meaningful to them and which would have a positive impact on their lives. He missed an opportunity to connect with the people and unite us but instead called an election meant only to divide.

I beg to differ in that Abe has basically given the public to decide who should be running this country. This is a defacto mid term election. Abe has called this an "Abenomics dissolution" but that doesn't mean that the public nor the opposition has to play along those lines. If the opposition wants to debate the failures of Abenomics, they can do so. Not only that, the opposition has a carte blanche to address other of Abe's policies which includes the Secrecy bill and the Cabinet decision to extend the limited collective self defense. Also, let's not forget that DPJ Chief Secratary Edano wished for a dissolution back in October 25. He got his wish.

No, I would have liked Abe and his team to have drafted a bill, in co-operation with the opposition, to address those issues ONLY but that was not Abe's intention nor was it written to deal with the situations you described. Abe went light years beyond your list by giving unlimited powers to the ministries and agencies to determine themselves, without restraint, what should or shouldn't be classified as state secrets. The intention of this legislation was to empower the government and ministries and to shield them from unwanted inquiries into the internal affairs of each

No. The law itself details to four specific categories which are self defense, foreign diplomacy, counter intelligence, and acts of terrorism. If it fits those categories and sub categories, the responsible entity/agencies/ministries have the sole discresion to designate them as so which is no different than what the opposition was proposing. What the DPJ counter offer, although sound in one area, leaves more question afterwards. (i.e. specififying terrorism to "foreign" only, establishment of a monitoring committee but nothing in regards to who is monitoring them)

Let's be clear. DPJ had ample opportunity to get their own Secrecy law passed during their reign when this particular subject came to surface after the Senkaku trawler incident and the video that was released to the public. They sat on it, PERIOD.

So to get back to the discussion, it appears that you are not against the idea in general but now shifted the goal posts by discussion the methods that could of been done by achieving them. That's great. But in a perfect world, we would all like to see the majority and the opposition get together and formulate a law where there are compromises but even in democracies all over the world, such rare mutual cooperation happens once in a blue moon where, for instance, there exists a stalemate in both legislative houses but they all agree such legislation has to be passed. But in a real world, when a majority party control both houses, their goal is to get the bill passed.

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Voters to Abe: Why call an election now?

Because Abe is Prime Minister and he can do it. Not that hard to understand, but hard to stomach when you know your party can't defeat Abe and the LDP.

I have read a whole lot of complaints here and I must ask the fine folks who are complaining a simple question.......

Are you a citizens of Japan?

I will venture to guess that the vast majority of those complaining are not Citizens of Japan.

So, I would like to give you sagely advise, if you want to change things here then become a Japanese citizen and vote. If not, learn live with what the Japanese voters want and accept it. Or just move out of Japan and go back home.

Hope that helps you to live a better life, so smile.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

JoeB - thanks for the sagely advice. I'll store it in my "Advice from the Sages" file for quick access.

People have a right to comment on the politics of the country in which they are living and working - unless it's NK where question marks loom.

Since when does non-citizen ship deny one the right to make observations and statements about the local govt. Other than my home country, I've lived for extended periods in 3 countries and have made comments about the political / social situations in each. That is what democracy in the free world is. And many such comments have been positive as well as negative.

Sorry, but only a shallow mind could try to play the old "go home if you don't like it" card, especially considering the topic at hand which is discussing the merits of the govt.

If you travel / work / live in other places - do you follow your own sagely advice and zip your own utterances for fear of failing the citizenship test (read - the right to speak)?

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Are you a citizens of Japan? I will venture to guess that the vast majority of those complaining are not Citizens of Japan.

Have you actually read the article?

Nearly two-thirds of Japanese voters don’t understand why Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is calling a snap election next month and about half want ruling and opposition parties to come out evenly in the poll, a survey showed on Thursday, suggesting Abe’s ruling party might fare less well than he hopes.

Is there some part of that you don't understand?

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Guess some people didn't read the article like you noted, Simon...lol!

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