In June the British electorate preferred Brexit, or leaving the European Union. In July in Japan political forces of pro-amendment of the Constitution won in the Upper House election. Subsequently, in the same month, Candidate Koike Yuriko, an LDP (=Liberal Democratic Party) member, won in the Tokyo’s governorship election. In November the world was surprised to see victory of Mr. Trump in the US presidential election. In the Japanese parliament the bills to legalize casino games and to ratify the TPP agreement were approved with a use of the majority. Nevertheless, the support rate of the Abe government is unchanged, keeping the digit of 50%. Some speculate that the Lower House may be dissolved for general election in early month of 2017. In Republic of Korea (ROK) President Park Geun-hye was impeached. Where will the world go to? Where will Japan direct to?
WHAT WILL COME, A HOPE, Or, DESPAIR, IN COMING THIRD STAGE?
The first stage appeared in the end of 1980s amid collapse of the Soviet Union and socialist bloc in the Eastern Europe. In Japan the bloc of Sohyo, the General Council of Trade Unions of Japan, and the Socialist Party were destabilized. Privatization, financial debts reduction policies, budget cut-offs for social services, flexible labor market policy and boosting of financial market – the phenomena were rampant in the globalized capitalist world.
Consequently, gaps and poverty have spread extensively. In an absence of a powerful bloc to counter the US military capability were unleashed a vicious circle of military interventions and terrorist acts tempted by the Big Powers. Global capitals, however, which had become lopsided in production after massive devouring, launched speculative dealings. Thus, a crisis has been invoked as a result of the sub-prime loans and the Lehman Shock. The crisis is said to be a worst one that might happen once in hundred years.
Collapse of so-called Democratic Forces
The second stage opened with a hope, which suggested a beginning of political changes. In 2009 the Government led by President Obama was established in the United States, while in Japan the Democratic Party became the government after several decades of reign of the Liberal Democratic Party. Both represented anxiety of people who feared wars and poverty as well as growing social gaps. President Obama told about ‘a world without nuclear weapons’, reviewing the ‘wars without cause’ staged by the neo-cons, involved in the Obama Care policy and regulated operations of financial capitals. Meanwhile, in Japan, the coalition government led by Democrat Hatoyama tried to reform the society, intensifying social welfare measures.
Regulation of globalized capitals, however, was not easy. In the European Union countries the governments relied on the ‘austerity policy’ to retrieve failed economic policies. Greece and the southern European countries were ill-treated. A massive number of immigrants of southern European origin and refugees from Mideast flew in Germany and other well-off countries, which has caused messes inside the societies. Consequently, in the second stage, too, gaps and poverty extended wildly. Regional conflicts and terrorist acts have eroded the world.
The third stage has emerged in the darkness of peoples’ despair. In US and Japan people lost trust toward the governments led by Democrats. In EU, which advocated co-habitation of nations, peoples faced adversity. The first person who appeared from the right wing was Abe in Japan, followed by President-elect Trump in the US. In EU nations mini-Trupms wait for entrance onto the stage.
Their common demagogue is ‘to protect benefits and employment’, which allure peoples. These leaders cherish profit of the capital at the risk of peace, environment, human rights and justice. The third generation of politicians is to unshackle what the second-stage leaders attempted to control. Financial capitals, immediately perceiving the new trend, rushed into the stock market. Fascism in the 21st century may have begun to develop.
Who are Actors representing Hope?
Another group of actors wait for the third stage from the left wing - people in ROK, supporters of Sanders in US, or PODEMOS youth in Spain, and etc. The presidential election scheduled this year in ROK may develop a new era in the northeast region of Asia to prevent ambitions of the Abe government. Political forces, a group independent of the interests of the Wall Street, will come to contest Trump inside and outside of the US Democratic Party. The PODEMOS may speedily unite left forces opposing chauvinism in Europe.
Now, let’s look at Japan. Who are actors who could convert despair to hope? Let’s think over what we should do, analyzing political developments yielded by Abe, Hashimoto, Osaka Mayor, and Koike, Tokyo Governor. This is an assignment on New Year holidays.
December 27, 2016