Countdown to a Joyless Victory

Added by Michael Penn on July 14, 2015. · No Comments · Share this Post

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July 14, 2015Countdown to a Joyless Victory

The government of Shinzo Abe and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party know that they have the votes to steamroll the Legislation for Peace and Security (a.k.a. the War Bills) through the House of Representatives this week, but they also clearly understand that they have lost public support for the policy. Regional Revitalization Minister Shigeru Ishiba was the one to openly make the obvious point, but his understated comments clearly represent the consensus understanding within the ruling coalition: “I can’t really say that I’m confident we progressed very far in gaining public understanding,” he noted. Nevertheless, the LDP and Komeito decided to go forward despite the consequences, and the vote will be done within two or three days. One new element that appeared today, however, was that the LDP agreed to more seriously consider the security proposals of the Japan Innovation Party during the House of Councillors debate, leaving open the possibility that the bills may be revised somewhat before they are finally passed into law.

LDP Backbenchers Start to Grumble

Since their return to power in December 2012 the Liberal Democratic Party has proved to be remarkably disciplined and outwardly loyal to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Now, however, with a series of obvious missteps by the administration and public approval ratings plummeting, the grumbling of the LDP backbenchers is beginning to reach the ears of the national media. One clear target of the criticism is the poor handling of the 2020 Olympics stadium construction plan. A poll by the Asahi Shinbun found that 71% of the public opposes the plan, and even among those who call themselves supporters of the administration, there is a harsh 2-to-1 opinion against it. The grumbling signifies that the firm grip of Shinzo Abe on the ruling party is starting to weaken significantly.

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Source: Shingetsu News Agency

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About the Shingetsu News Agency

The Shingetsu News Agency (SNA) was established in December 2010 by Michael Penn, a former university lecturer and journalist specialized in West Asian and Japanese history and politics.

The SNA aims to help fill the gap between the mainstream Japanese-language media, which is often well-resourced but burdened with a tendency to avoid investigative journalism and an unwillingness to communicate effectively with the outside world; and the foreign international media, whose presence in Tokyo is far weaker than most people realize, especially when it comes to video journalism. The net result is that Japan becomes a poorly understood nation both in its positive aspects as well as its negative dimensions.

The SNA’s dedicated team of journalists, cameramen, and video editors are working to reveal those underappreciated sides of Japan both for our clients as well as for the benefit of international society and the public more generally.

For more information, we can be reached at our e-mail account, which has the prefix shingetsunewsagency.