The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) held a congress on March 5 which Party President Abe Shinzo took initiative. The event emphasized amendment of the Peace Constitution, and it revised the rule of presidency tenure from six years of two terms to nine years of three. Premier Abe has an ambition to serve until September 2021 during which he is intended to amend the Constitution successfully. The worst type of government has power to last, why?
ABE GOVERNMENT INTENDS TO AMEND CONSTITUION DURING ITS TENURE
The original draft document of the congress said ‘(the LDP is) to analyze and draft a new text of the Constitution’, but President Abe changed it: the new version says, ‘to work concretely for a proposal to revise articles of the Constitution’. In his congressional speech, too, Mr. Abe declared to ‘lead debates with an objective to recommend alteration of the Constitution’.
Business circle gets united
Premier Abe wants to be government by any means until September 2021 to successfully revise Article Nine of the Constitution. Nobody can tell he could remain in office for nine years, because President Trump has won authority of the biggest power and the world is exposed to unknown events.
The Abe government is different from the previous LDP governments in terms of a fact that it enjoys a high support rate although the majority of people disagree to the policies on individual issues, for instance, nuclear power generation. Though a scandal over the Moritomo-Gakuen school arouses harsh criticisms against Premier and his wife, it is unlikely that ‘the Abe the strongest’ may diminish. Why?
It is because the business and financial people get united. In the economic turmoil after the Lehman Shock the capitalist world has stuck in deadlock and Big Business has no other way for survival except for relying on the Abe’s politics. His government has destroyed ‘inflexible restrictions’ one after another by way of his plan to establish strategic economic zones so that the public sector can be open to make money.
Mr. Abe has made frantic efforts to export nuclear power plants as the state’s sales policy by showing his capability to control the disastrous accident of the Fukushima power plant through his re-operation policy and cover-up of victims. He desperately committed in hosting the Olympics, too. He unjustly passed the so-called war legislation, allowed weapons’ export and encouraged military researches in the universities. The Abe’s political line coincides with wishes of Big Business: for the sake of profits it can be all right to destroy peace, people’s life and environment. Now, dovish business people are few or none.
Those of the Keidanren, or the Japan Business Foundation, actively manipulate social opinions: they attempt to build up own military capabilities so that Japan may owe nothing to the United States in terms of national defense so that business with the Trump administration should go smoothly.
Even though Abe Government fails
Another peg to support the Abe administration is the small-constituency election system. It has not only damaged alteration of two political parties but eliminated political diversity. Although the absolute support rate of the LDP remains around 20% of the electorate, the Abe government keeps sustained. It is because of lack of right opposition forces to counter the government. People are frustrated, losing a direction to a breakthrough.
Voters with no political affiliation used to cast for the Socialist Party and the Communist Party, seeking for ‘certain changes’. But today over 40% of those voters prefer the Abe government as several kinds of surveys show. Rightwing forces take away people’s aspiration for ‘changes’. The questionnaire conducted by the Nikkei Shimbun newspaper in late February on ‘Post-Abe era’ showed the most likely following politician was Abe, followed by Koizumi Shinjiro and Koike Yuriko both of whom ranking in the second place. The former is of LDP and the latter is Governor of Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
Among young people (between 18 and 39 years of age) 40% of them preferred Abe, followed by Koike and Hashimoto Toru (Mayor of Osaka City). The reaction of youth suggests that a more treacherous politics may come even after the long administration of Premier Abe has botched.
March 21, 2017