politics

Voting gets under way in regional elections

14 Comments

Voting got under way Sunday in 960 local elections across Japan in what is being seen as a test of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policies to revive flagging regional economies.

Ten gubernatorial elections will be held in Hokkaido, Kanagawa, Fukui, Mie, Nara, Tottori, Shimane, Tokushima, Fukuoka and Oita prefectures. In many races, the election will pit incumbents or challengers backed by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) against opponents supported by the main opposition Democratic party of Japan.

The other elections are for mayors and municipal assemblies in 41 prefectures. In 501 municipal contests, incumbents ran unopposed.

Last month, Abe promised to lift Japan out of "a period of darkness" if his ruling Liberal Democratic Party does well in the local elections.

The LDP enjoys wide popular support in regional areas because the opposition bloc remains divided into small groupings.

Since returning to power over two years ago, Abe has issued a series of big-spending stimulus programs to boost the economy, assisted by aggressive monetary easing by the Bank of Japan.

Big businesses and urban areas, like Tokyo, are seen to have benefited from Abe's programs, dubbed "Abenomics", while rural economies have remained slow.

Polls close at 8 p.m.

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14 Comments
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If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it. Mark Twain

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Maybe Abe and his ultra right friends have benefited from Abenomics.

Nobody else has.

Salaries are the same. All prices are up. Taxes are up.

We spend more on the same income.

Where's the benefit?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Maybe Abe and his ultra right friends have benefited from Abenomics.

Nobody else has.

I have. But I still don't think abenomics is a good thing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In my ward, there are no challengers in the city assembly election, so the same old farts will continue unopposed. In the prefectural assembly election, I was pleased to see some young challengers attempting to take on the old farts.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I did not have much choice so I voted for communists!!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I'm heading out to vote now... (or more acurately, I've convinced an eligible voter to get up off the sofa and go vote)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As a foreign-national with permanent residency (PR), are we permitted to vote in these elections?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Amanda

Exquisitely sweet and naive question. : )

Not a freakin' chance....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As a foreign-national with permanent residency (PR), are we permitted to vote in these elections?

No. Change your citizenship if you want to vote in Japan. (The way it should be.)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Ok but change the nationality law so that people can hold more than one nationality at the same time. (The way it should be)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I disagree. Make up your mind.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ok but change the nationality law so that people can hold more than one nationality at the same time. (The way it should be)

I would love it if they offered dual nationality in Japan. But unfortunately it's not even on their radar. Not even a mention of the idea for people who don't like it to be able to oppose.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I disagree. Make up your mind.

Can you explain why? Can't I work to improve more than one society on the planet at the same time? Or do you view citizenship as some kind of primitive pledge of loyalty to the government rather than a reward granted by the people for contributing to society for 5 or 10 years?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"While you're at it, onagagamo, please tell all the Japanese PRs who live in South Korea, Hong Kong and a whole host of other countries that they should not be allowed to vote, even though they already have the right."

In that case perhaps Japan should consider reciprocal rights to citizens of those nations ONLY!

Certainly NOT EU, USA, Australian, NZ, South Africans, Somalians and other nationals out there.

"I personally believe in reciprocity. And while we're at it, the EU should start fingerprinting and facial scans of Japanese and US tourists at airports.

I totally agree with you."

I totally agree with you too that Japan should force foreign PR's to use the "foreigners only" at airport check-in queues, just like here in the European Union.

I also get pissed off having to wait for donkeys "years" on the other side while my Japanese partner navigates the swell of other "furriners" trying to get into Britain".

Ans she's been here since she was a child; and she pays taxes too!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

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