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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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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Is constitution revision actually possible?

Last week, the Sankei Shimbun reported that, in the face of mounting public opposition, the LDP would in fact not put revising Article 96 of the constitution at the heart of its upper house campaign strategy. (Naturally, the next day Sankei published an editorial arguing that the LDP should make revising Article 96 central to the campaign …

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Don’t declare victory for Abenomics yet

With the yen's falling to below ¥100/$1 for the first time since 2009 and the Nikkei’s posting five-year highs, analysts have begun declaring victory for the Abe administration’s campaign against deflation and slow growth. Paul Krugman, the intellectual godfather of Abenomics, has not quite begun his victory dance yet, but he is optimistic that under …

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