Japan Upper House election: Expect more static wages and increasing debt

Japan Upper House election: Expect more static wages and increasing debt

Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Voting is now underway in Japan concerning the Upper House election. However, with the recent murder of Shinzo Abe casting a large shadow, the political debates are more muted concerning the surreal events of the last few days.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) dominates the political power mechanisms. This fact goes back to the mid-1950s. Therefore, little is expected to change related to power concentration in Japan – only the degree of control is awaited.

The yen is in freefall against the dollar, foodstuffs to energy continue to increase while wages remain static, and regional tensions are increasing concerning Kishida’s anti-Russian Federation stance. This is happening within the first year of Kishida’s leadership. Also, despite the horrendous mountain of debt – and the Bank of Japan buying Japanese Government Bonds like no tomorrow, Kishida seeks to double the military budget.

Only 125 seats are up for grabs. So it is difficult to imagine the ruling LDP – and its junior partner Komeito – failing to maintain a majority in the Upper House. Especially given the divided nature of the opposition.

NHK reports, “Another key issue is the Constitution. Japan has not changed its basic law in 75 years… and the main ruling party says it should be updated to fit the times.”

It remains to be seen if the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan – and the Japan Innovation Party -can consolidate their respective bases of power. Therefore, individuals aren’t expecting any real change irrespective of the outcome – the same issues concerning pension fears, the low birthrate, static wages, energy issues, and other important problems will continue to be neglected (similar issues for over two decades) long after the political dust settles.

Kishida is utilizing the Russian Federation and China threat – by talking up the military. Thus despite having the highest ratio of debt in the world – and the electorate being concerned about bread and butter issues – the only real outcome of the election concerns the military budget of Japan and Kishida altering the Constitution to meet his optimistic nationalist demands.


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