“Japan’s Upper House Election Results,” Sasakawa USA

On Monday, 22 July 2019, Washington College's Andrew Oros and I discussed the outcome of the upper house elections held the previous day, speaking to - much to my surprise - a packed room. Photo courtesy of Ben Self Our discussion dissected the significance of the results for Prime Minister Abe, Japan's political parties, and …

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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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Public support for Abenomics cools slightly, but the LDP will win anyway

With the campaign for the July 21st upper house election set to begin officially on Thursday, the Asahi Shimbun has released the results of its latest opinion polling on the Abe government.The poll contains good news and bad news for Abe Shinzō.The good news for the PM is that there remains no doubt that the LDP …

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Selling free trade

Bogged down by an unfavorable political situation in Tokyo, the Kan government has few avenues for policy innovation. In recent weeks, however, it seems that the Kan government has decided to consider joining the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPP), a multilateral free trade agreement that currently includes only Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, and Brunei, but …

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