Monday, February 25, 2013

Up, Up And Away

The Abe Cabinet numbers continue to soar (Link - J) and the Liberal Democratic Party is running away in the projected voting for the House of Councillors elections in July. (Link)

As to why the 72% of respondents find the Abe Cabinet worthy of their support, 34.9% of respondents said it is because of the expectations as regards economic policy.

That's all I know, as none of the survey data is in my morning dead tree news delivery device...because of the system breakdown at Kyodo (Link - J) perhaps?

For those still a bit giddy over Prime Minister Abe Shinzo's feat of stomping out of Washington with the acceptance in principle of Japan's participation in Trans Pacific Partnership talks without Japan's having made making a prior commitment to tariff abolition (a jiggle that will come back to haunt both governments when it comes time to confront the United States' 25% tariff on light trucks) some more good news: 64% of the respondents in the Kyodo poll approve (to a greater or lesser extent) Japan's participation in the talks. As for the reasons why Japan should be in talks as soon as possible, the top two responses are...slightly different in the Japanese- and English-language Kyodo reports.

#1 reason, with 59% of agreeing

English language version:

"It is essential for Japan to join the Pacific Rim initiative so it can benefit from the global expansion of free-trade deals"

Japanese language version:

"Trade liberalization is the way of the times, so is it mandatory that Japan take part for its own good"

#2 reason, with 43% agreeing:

English language version

"It would increase exports and allow Japanese companies to better compete with their global rivals"

Japanese language version

"The opportunities for export for Japanese companies would increase and [Japan] could better compete with global rivals such as South Korea."

Ah, the South Korea prod...

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