Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to utilize the North Korea effect and stem the Party of Hope
Sawako Uchida and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan appeared to be on the wane based on internal issues inside the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and scandals related to him. Hence, the Abe administration suffered humiliation during the recent election in Tokyo and his ratings were plummeting. On top of this, certain bigwigs within the LDP began to raise voices. However, the crisis on the Korean Peninsula and North Korea’s missiles flying over Northern Japan means that a fresh momentous is building once more for Abe.
Equally important, Abe knows that Yuriko Koike, the Tokyo Governor, is increasingly popular. This reality spurred Koike to form a new party called Party of Hope (Kibo no To). Yet, obviously, it will take time for the Party of Hope to galvanize itself nationally. Therefore, Abe witnessing two changing sands – one based on the bellicose nature of North Korea that is boosting his popularity – the other negative in relation to the Party of Hope – equates to an opportune time for Abe to call a general election.
Abe stated, “I will dissolve the House of Representatives on Sept. 28,” Abe said at a press conference on Monday evening at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo.”
Abe, seeking to deflect from certain self-interested events, for example, North Korea and the Party of Hope, is stipulating the importance of the social security system of Japan. In other words, Abe is claiming a mandate is needed for his “human resources development revolution.”
Abe said, “We will turn Japan’s social security system into one that responds to all generations by boldly diverting policy resources to resolve the two major concerns – child rearing and (elderly) nursing care – that working generations confront.”
If Abe is sincere about “his human resources development revolution,” then making the most of this opportune time to call a general election may become a blessing in disguise for the people of Japan. After all, Japan needs to re-focus strongly on boosting the birthrate and creating policies that provide greater resources and care for the elderly. Therefore, like all politicians of high motivation, the current leader of Japan seeks to make the most of the current situation – one externally in relation to North Korea – and one internally based on internal issues and the creation of the Party of Hope.
Reuters reports, “Abe’s image as a strong leader has bolstered his ratings amid the North Korea crisis and overshadowed opposition criticism of the premier for suspected cronyism scandals that eroded his support earlier this year.”
It is widely reported that the election will take place on October 22 despite no official date being currently announced. Therefore, time is on the side of Abe rather than the newly created Party of Hope.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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