Apathy of Japan Election: Abe Claims Mandate on Low Turnout
Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan claims to have won a fresh mandate from the electorate after favorable results were announced from the Upper House election. However, this is partly false because turnout was a mere 54.7 per cent. Indeed, in some parts of Japan, the majority of people didn’t bother to vote and this applies to Hiroshima, Kochi, and Tokushima. On top of this, the main opposition party remains shackled by a lack of cohesion. Therefore, despite Abe being boosted by the Upper House election, the real reality is that 45 per cent of the population feels disenfranchised based on lacking trust in the politicians of this nation.
At the same time, liberal elites and the mass media opposed to Abe are equally out of touch with the reality of modern Japan. In other words, images of anti-nuclear demonstrators, anti-Abe professors and organizations attacking possible constitutional changes, and other areas, simply aren’t hitting a chord with the electorate. This reality means that Abe is now strengthened based on a low electorate turnout and because people don’t trust opposition forces.
Sadly, more debt will follow while the ultra-rich will gain from more mega stimulus packages that usually end up back to zero. Taxpayers in Japan will witness major corporations, financial institutions, and wealthy stockholders, gaining from fresh government economic packages. However, if the past is viewed, then little will materialize in the long-term apart from the national debt increasing.
Alarmingly, while the birth rate is a real issue for the people of Japan, it seems that Abe will turn to immigration in order to shore up the nation. Yet, real help is needed for ordinary Japanese nationals whereby having children is supported by genuine welfare support, a changed working environment, mortgage relief, and other needed policies. Instead, it seems that Abe will focus on foreign labor, squandering taxpayers money on international economic foreign assistance despite the need to focus on revitalizing internal regions throughout the country, and geopolitical ambitions.
CNN reports “Abe said Monday he would use his victory to push forward with his economic reform program — also known as Abenomics — along with further changes to his diplomatic policies… Together with the pro-constitutional revisionists, his coalition has gained a two-thirds majority of the 121-seat upper house.”
Modern Tokyo Times in the past stressed, “Recent economic changes based on a not too dis-familiar theory of relying on exporting out of a crisis based on a weakening yen appear to have come off the rails once more. In order to achieve this objective, the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe implemented a monetary policy based on being ultra-aggressive. However, from the start, this policy appeared short-sighted and unlikely to break the cycle of deflation.”
It is reported that a possible fresh stimulus package, despite the failure of others, will be in the region of just below $200 billion dollars (20 trillion yen). In other words, real issues that need to be addressed will be put on a backburner based on “an ultra rich trickle down theory” that is further draining people’s faith in Japanese democracy.
Hence, several prefectures registering less than 50 percent of people voting. What a sad reality for modern day Japan. However, it is a reality that seems to be escaping Abe – just like left leaning and liberal opposition forces that are equally out of touch.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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