Important dates

As the year winds down and Japan’s political establishment evaluates the first several months of the Abe Cabinet — and wonders whether Abe will be able to bounce back in the new year — several important dates have been set.

The Diet’s regular session will open on January 25th, and run through June 23rd, ending about a month before the Upper House and nationwide local elections, which have been set for July 22nd.

That date — July 22nd — will loom large over the entire Diet session, because Abe’s political future will almost certainly depend on a strong LDP showing at the polls. From where I stand, it seems that Abe may have difficulty following Koizumi in appealing to urban voters who would otherwise be drawn to the DPJ.

In any case, posting will continue to be light this week as Japan prepares to celebrate New Year’s. If something important happens, however, I will be sure to write.

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