Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Smooth Sailing For Abe And His Crew?

The Abe government and the LDP must be humming in the halls of Nagatacho after yesterday's release of the latest Kyodo News numbers:

Kyodo News poll of 26-27 March 2015 (2-7 February 2015)

Cabinet support numbers

Support 55.4% (54.2%)

Do not support 32.7% (32.5%)

Political party support

LDP 42.1% (39.0%)

DPJ 6.5% (7.4%)

JCP 4.8% (5.0%)

Komeito 4.2% (2.8%)

JIP 4.0% (4.9%)

. . .

No party/don't know 35.9% (38.7%)
A month of attacks on the ministers of the Abe government in the Diet over potential violations of campaign finance law have done nothing, or less than nothing, for the fortunes of the main centrist opposition parties. They are not in appreciably better electoral position than the Communists, who are better funded. The Communists of course blow their cash on running for every possible seat on the ballot -- but that kind of moxie keeps the adherents loyal.

When the April local elections roll around, the voters will look at the Democrats and the Innovators (?) and rightly ask, "Yeah fine but what can you do for me and when do you think you will be able to do it?"


That being said, the three-times-in-a-row loser Abe Shinzo-led LDP (2014 Nago City election; 2014 Okinawa Prefectural gubernatorial election; 2014 House of Representatives election) and the government are flirting with disaster in Okinawa. By taking on Governor Onaga Takeshi in such an officious way, without top government leaders even meeting with him to at least create the appearance of a willingness to seek a middle ground (even when a middle ground is not available, really) Abe and Company are on the brink of going to The Place You Must Never, Ever Go In Japan: the inside of a court house. (Link)


Has anyone noticed, in this year of big East Asian relations anniversaries (70th anniversary of the end of World War II, 50th anniversary of the normalization of Japan-Republic of Korea relations) that if the relations between the Big Three countries of the region were to improve then the United States would feel free to dial down its presence -- which is precisely what two of the Big Three -- Japan and the ROK -- absolutely do not want the U.S. to do?

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