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Archive for the tag “Liberal Democratic Party”

One-Party Rule Back In Japan, But Can Abe Blow It?

Sunday’s sweeping victory by the Liberal Democratic PartyNew Komeito ruling bloc in the Upper House election put an end to the divided Diet and hopefully to the “revolving door” of prime ministers over the past seven years, as ridiculed by foreign media. That is at least until the next Lower House election, which must be held within the next three years.

Read Here – Japan Times

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Shinzo Abe Is Brave, But Is He Wise?

Japan’s new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is proposing a bold departure for his country’s economy. He’s mostly right. Japan continues to underperform, and bad macroeconomic policy has been the main reason. Abenomics isn’t riskless or easy, however. The government will have to be wise as well as brave.

Abe advocates what he calls a “three arrows” approach to expansionary policy: monetary, fiscal and structural. On two of the three, change is under way. He has pressured the Bank of Japan to end deflation by adopting a new inflation target and forthright quantitative easing. He has announced a supplementary budget that will further increase the government deficit. As yet, the supply-side part of the program is vague.

Read Here – Bloomberg

Japan’s Currency Dance: Weaken the Yen—But Not Too Weak

Weaken the yen: That has been a desperate plea by the captains of Japanese industry for years as the strong currency has hurt such exporters as Sony and Toyota. Reversing the yen’s rise was a major goal of Liberal Democratic Party leader Shinzo Abe during his successful campaign against incumbent Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda last month.

Sure enough, now that Abe is prime minister, the yen has weakened. A lot. With the government promising a big new spending program and the central bank expanding its quantitative easing policy, Japan’s currency on Jan. 18 hit a two-and-a-half-year low of ¥90.10 to the dollar. Since mid-November, when the election season got underway and an LDP victory became a near certainty, the yen has weakened by 10 percent.

Read Here – Businessweek

Keynes, Trains and Automobiles

FOR 35 years the steel bolts holding up the ceiling of Sasago Tunnel, on a busy toll road west of Tokyo, were never checked. On December 2nd more than 600 of them had worked themselves so loose that a 130-metre stretch of the roof collapsed, crushing nine motorists.

The disaster played into the hands of Shinzo Abe, who two days later launched his successful campaign to become prime minister partly on a promise of renovating Japan’s rusting infrastructure. As promised, on January 10th Mr Abe approved a massive public-spending bonanza, expected to exceed ¥13 trillion ($150 billion)—more than was spent in emergency measures after the 2011 earthquake, and about 2.6% of GDP.

Read Here – The Economist

Japan and India’s Growing Embrace

Shinzo Abe is known to be staunchly pro-Indian. Not only did he describe strengthening bilateral ties as extremely important to Japan’s interests in his 2006 book Utsukushii Kuni E (Towards a Beautiful Country), but one of his major foreign policy initiatives during his previous tenure as PM was establishing a new vision for bilateral ties with India. To that end, he advocated emphasizing India and Japan’s shared values and overlapping security interests. He has also argued that both countries have a responsibility to work together in the Indo-Pacific region, which he refers to as “broader Asia.” In the Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) recent campaign pledge, India was listed as a country with which Japan should enhance cooperation with on issues of national security and energy. With such support, it can be expected that Abe will look to India as a partner for greater Japanese activism in the region.

Read Here – The Diplomat

The Importance of Shinzo Abe

The Pacific and the Indian Oceans are “now bringing about a dynamic coupling as seas of freedom and of prosperity. A ‘Broader Asia’ that broke away geographical boundaries is now beginning to take on a distinct form. Our two countries have the ability — and the responsibility — to ensure that it broadens yet further and to nurture and enrich these seas to become seas of clearest transparence.”

With those words Shinzo Abe, now re-elected Prime Minister of Japan, began a historic address to the Indian Parliament in August 2007. To an audience that had not yet absorbed the full import of the historic shift Mr. Abe was seeking in Japan’s relations with India, he added: “This is the message I wish to deliver directly today to the one billion people of India. That is why I stand before you now in the Central Hall of the highest chamber, to speak with you, the people’s representatives of India.”

Read Here – The Hindu

Abe and Japanese Security Policy

A landslide victory for the Liberal Democratic Party in elections Sunday for the lower house of the Japanese legislature has given party leader Shinzo Abe something no other Japanese politician has achieved in the last half century: a second chance as prime minister. Abe had the job for a year in 2006-2007, part of a pattern of Japanese prime ministers in recent times (with rare exceptions such as the charismatic Junichiro Koizumi) serving brief stints before usually rotating out amid growing unpopularity. It appears that the LDP along with its coalition partner, the New Komeito Party, will have a two-thirds super-majority, enough to transact business even without controlling the upper house of the Diet.

 

Read Here – National Interest

 

LDP Back In The Saddle Again in Japan

The Liberal Democratic Party, which was badly defeated in the Lower House election in August 2009 and had to give up power to the Democratic Party of Japan after ruling the nation almost without interruption since 1955, made a comeback in Sunday’s general election. Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the current LDP chief, will regain the premiership.

 

Read Here – Japan Times

 

Shinzo Abe’s Sumo-Sized Win

A FORMER prime minister, who resigned in 2007 after a shambolic first year in office, and his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which two years later was hounded out of the governing role that it had taken as its birthright, are both headed for a remarkable return to power. In the hours after midnight it became clear that an LDP-led coalition was going to secure a two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament. Shinzo Abe will be back at the head of government.

 

Read Here – The Economist

 

Abe Set for Japan Victory Faces 7-Month Window

Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party is on the verge of reclaiming power in Japan, giving him seven months to convince voters he can revive the economy before another round of elections in July.

The LDP is forecast to crush Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s Democratic Party of Japan in the Dec. 16 election for the lower house of parliament. A victory would give Abe a second chance to lead the country five years after he quit his first term for health reasons. No premier has stayed in office for more than 15 months since.

 

Read Here – Businessweek

 

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