You may Say I'm a Dreamer
But I'm Not the Only One.
I Hope Someday You'll Join Us
And the World Will be as One.
-- John Lennon, "Imagine" (1971)
In our future, the highway to peace and prosperity rolls out wide before us. Our responsibility to the next generation is to bring this region's potential for growth into full bloom.
So once again, Japan for the rule of law. Asia for the rule of law. And the rule of law for all of us. Peace and prosperity in Asia, forevermore.
Abe ShinzoKeynote Address to the Shangri-La Dialogue30 May 2014
- He is for rapid and dramatic increases in the percentage of women in corporate management, and has set a goal of reserving 30% of all government positions for women.
-- He has ordered a massive build out of child care to eliminate waiting lists.
-- His government is considering eliminating the deduction for non-working spouses, which will encourage (force?) a movement of Japan’s highly trained but underemployed women into the work force.
- His government has warned the sprawling and electorally powerful agricultural cooperatives that their days are numbered.
- He replaced a conservative governor of the Bank of Japan with a radical bent on creating 2% inflation, no how lousy the BOJ’s portfolio becomes.
- His government is confronting the issue of the mistaken transfer of wealth from the young to the old even though seniors vote in vastly greater numbers and may punish his party at the polls.
- His government and party have approved massive fiscal stimulus bills in the face of daunting government deficits and national government debt.
- He is a strong advocate for labor immigration, setting a target of 220,000 new immigrant worker arrivals per year ad infinitum.
- He is emphasizes the importance of the rule of law and collegiality in international affairs. (Link - check out the intelligent comments!)
- He browbeats corporate managements for their stinginess in paying their workers and their failure to offer more permanent employment positions.
- He speaks about "proactive pacifism" -- not just the defense of Japan but greater participation by Japanese forces in the defense of others.
Sure he has some legacy issues -- Yasukuni, history awareness, education, the Special Secrets Protection Act (which, upon reflection, should be called the "Protection of Lying Ministers From Embarrassing Revelations Act"). Sure he still listens to and employs some out-and-out-idiots (Link) and has a Nigel Tufnelesque hard time discerning stupidity from cleverness. Sure he is way too close to some corporate empire builders.
However, in a world where demagogues offering nativist, isolationist, oligarchic, constrictive and violent solutions to problems, Abe is rowing hard in the opposite direction. Indeed, with President Barack Obama crippled by his low popularity and the likely loss of control of the U.S. Senate to the Know-Nothing Republicans, Abe Shinzo should perhaps now be considered the standard bearer of liberalism around the world.