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Japan’s Abe seeks major power grab

Editor: Tong Xinxin 丨CCTV.com

10-14-2015 10:41 BJT

By Zhou Yongsheng, deputy director of Japan Research Center of China Foreign Affairs University

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his second cabinet reshuffle last week, but most Japanese have shown indifference. Apparently, Abe has become complacent, even though he’s beginning to lose support from his voters.

Despite strong public outcry, Tokyo’s Diet (Japan’s Parliament) voted in favor of the new security bills that would extend Japan’s military power.

Accordingly, Abe had paid a heavy political price. He announced a second cabinet reshuffle to boost the ruling Liberal Democrat Party’s (LDP) chances in the Upper House elections scheduled for next July.

Additionally, the so-called Abenomics agenda continues to impact the Japanese economy. By devaluing its Yen currency and flooding the Tokyo markets with easy money, he’s subsidizing Japanese corporations in return for their support.

Consequently, the Tokyo Stock Exchange has doubled in value, while raising workers’ wages. Nevertheless, many regular Japanese citizens still struggle with economic hardships without enjoying sufficient salary increases. 

As a matter of fact, Japan's economy still show signs of a depression coincided with a weak recovery.

Abe is steering the economy not to improve living standards, but to win over Japanese voters’ hearts. By capturing more LDP votes in the upcoming Senate election, he can maintain his grip on power for the long-term future.

Meanwhile, Japan has enjoyed a comprehensive welfare and social security system, but its well below the standards found in the developed countries of Scandinavia and Western Europe. The Japanese face difficulties caring for their children and elderly relatives.

Abe’s new cabinet reshuffle would restore his focus on a strong economy, child-care support and social security, to build a society with 100 million active citizens. He appears to be good at bribing popular feeling without bringing positive results.

In regard to Tokyo's fiscal crisis, his welfare policy is doomed to failure.

His new cabinet members are new political faces, but they are unlikely to inspire the public. Abe hopes to boost Japan's economic annual growth rate up to 3%, but that seems illusory.

Abe loves to dazzle the Japanese with catchy slogans, but his pledges could lead to just an illusion of prosperity and nothing more. His aim is to engage in a simple power grab.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


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