25November2017

Home Editorial LDP’S WIN, ABE’S VICTORY

LDP’S WIN, ABE’S VICTORY

Unlike previous estimates, in an early election in Japan on Sunday (October 22), the LDP and its coalition partners won a majority of the votes with at least 312 out of 465 parliamentary seats. Thus, Shinzo Abe's way to occupy the post of Prime Minister of Japan until 2021 will be smooth. Originally, due to some problems, it was estimated  that the LDP would lose many seats and  no longer control the majority. When planning  for an early election some time ago, Abe risked his future in Japanese politics. Because if the LDP loses, Abe must immediately leave the Prime Minister's seat to be filled by the leader of the Opposition party. At that time, Abe's powerful challenger was Yuriko Koike, a former governor of Tokyo who had once been Abe's political partner. Koike then led the Hope party, but its popularity declined in the campaign period.

Abe's stern attitude towards North Korea appears to be an important factor that prompted Japanese  to vote for the LDP. Abe was  shrewd to exploit the North Korean power show which is thought can  threaten Japan's sovereignty at any time. The Japanese people are generally less amenable to Abe's plan to amend the Constitution that confines the Japanese military from a defense force  to a more active military. But with this victory and strong support of his coalition partners, Abe is likely to complete his plan to amend the Constitution, in addition to being the longest serving Japanese Prime Minister. Abe can also continue to pursue his harsh policy towards North Korea, to be close to Washington and implement a loose policy on the economy. Hopefully, with Abe's victory, the positive things he has done with many countries including Indonesia, are maintained. Japan's partnership with its neighbors including with the Southeast Asian region could increase, as Abe easily overcomes parliamentary obstacles. What is difficult is to guess the thinking of the leader of his neighbor, North Korea.

 

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