Since Shinzo Abe stormed back into power in December 2012, he and his Liberal Democratic Party have been able to count upon Japanese millennials as a steady and reliable support base. But the Liberal Democratic Party espouses stances on a variety of issues which run directly counter to millennials’ interests, hopes and beliefs.
Japan’s anti-smoking movement has been gaining strength in its effort to protect the rights of non-smokers and to save lives, but Japan Tobacco’s political muscle remains undiminished.
The planned construction of the Aegis Ashore missile defense system in Akita has once again suffered a blow as independent, opposition-supported candidate Shizuka Terata won in the House of Councillors election. Terata’s victory owes to the efforts of many in the region who are strongly opposed to the deployment of the facility so close to the city center.
The Shingetsu News Agency has been keeping a running log of the major developments in Japanese politics since January 2012. The following is our contemporary account of the entire year 2012.
The eyes of the nation are fixed on this proxy war between the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the opposition alliance as the main prelude to the Upper House elections in July. It is the Manchurian Candidate vs The Revenant.
On January 28, the Japan Times published an opinion piece titled, “How Japanese is Naomi Osaka?” Author Kunihiko Miyake “felt something odd” about how the multiethnic tennis champ could ever “represent Japan.” Miyake’s article is indicative of how the quality of analysis has slipped under the Japan Times’ new ownership, and suggests how the purposes of the organization have changed.
The Japan Times served for decades as the leading newspaper for the nation’s foreign community, but now it has been taken over by rightwing elements close to the Abe regime.
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan has a new home, not far from the old location. It remains a place for press conferences that otherwise would not be held in Japan.
Abe has claimed to be an advocate for women’s empowerment. Satsuki Katayama is the only woman in Abe’s Cabinet.
There is a way for the news media to serve the interests of the public majority: It requires the public itself to provide sufficient funding for those news media organizations.