The real problem with Asō’s gaffe

After the uprising of the 17th of JuneThe Secretary of the Writers' UnionHad leaflets distributed in the StalinalleeStating that the peopleHad forfeited the confidence of the governmentAnd could win it back onlyBy redoubled efforts.Would it not be easierIn that case for the governmentTo dissolve the peopleAnd elect another?Bertolt Brecht, "Die Lösung" (1953) Deputy Prime Minister/Finance …

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Abe’s underwhelming victory

Abe Shinzō's LDP-led coalition with Komeitō got its wish Sunday, winning enough seats to retake control of the House of Councillors for the government and ending the "twisted" Diet for at least the next three years. With five seats still undecided, the LDP and Kōmeitō have secured 134 seats, comfortably over the majority threshold of 122 seats. …

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Will nuclear restarts derail Abe? (Probably not.)

Say what you will about the LDP, but the party has been fairly open about its preference for nuclear energy and restarting Japan's idled reactors as soon as possible. The party may be about to get its wish. On July 8th, four regional power companies will apply to the Nuclear Regulation Authority to begin compulsory …

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Pinpointing public support for Abenomics

With the upper house election campaign in full swing — Michael Cucek has the campaign numbers breakdown here — there is no shortage of public opinion polling to wade through. Because the outcome of the election is more or less a foregone conclusion, not much of it is very interesting. However, it is still worth …

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The Japanese public’s enduring anxiety about social security

Even as the Japanese people confronted slow growth and considered whether the longstanding institutions of Japanese capitalism would be able to guarantee prosperity in the future, they faced the prospect of an aging, shrinking population and worried about the stability of Japan's social security system. As baby boomers retire, Japanese society, like other developed societies, …

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How long will the Japanese people support Abe (and Abenomics)?

The most remarkable contrast between Abe Shinzō's tumultuous first term as prime minister in 2006-2007 and his current term is the degree to which Abe has been able to rely on significant public support. By this time in his first government — approximately five-and-a-half months after his inauguration — Abe's disapproval rating had surpassed his …

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