The Abe government drives rapidly toward amendment processes of the Constitution, especially, after he enjoyed victory in the general election of last October. His tactics deepened in 2017, which reminds us of a political maneuver taken by Adolf Hitler. However, advocates of amendment of the Constitution, too, face problems, which are outcomes they themselves have produced; aggravated employment, worsened public services and the lower birth rate of children. They cannot find any breakthrough to halt the collapsing Japanese society.
SERIOUS CHANGES TAKE PLACE IN THE BASE STRUCTURE
Tension sharpens in the Korean Peninsula. In the Japanese parliament 80% of the seats is occupied by those forces who want to revise the Constitution. Mass media sensationally report incidents, including a theatrical play directed by Ms Koike, Governor of Tokyo. On the other hand, however, almost a half of the electorate abstained in the last October general election - cool political judgment seemed paralyzed.
The Abe government has overwhelmingly won in the general election with a campaign to amend the Constitution. The advocates of revising the Constitution, including the Kibo-no-To (Party of Hope), a complementary force, have obtained greater power. Judiciary, administration, media and municipalities will face menace from them. The Constitutional Democratic Party has advanced remarkably, but the social-democrats and communists have retreated further backward. Pro-Constitution forces failed to go forward.
Government involves in Labor Offensive
The election results show facial political developments. In the base structure of politics a grave change has occurred. Symptoms appeared years ago. It is involvement of the government in the labor campaigns staged every spring by the workers’ side. The Abe government has imposed measures for its convenience on the fields of labor, education and the low birth rate of the population. It launches various propaganda tactics; in the ‘Reforms in Working Style’ Premier refers to a phrase, an equal pay for an equal job, and talks about that a term irregular workers will vanish in the country.
The government’s actions look like pressure on the Keidanren, the Japan Business Foundation, to demand concession. But you should be cautious. The Abe’s version of an equal pay for an equal job means to destroy the wage systems in which working hours and wages are split, while the employers’ entity has a concept of ‘the Japanese-style equal pay for an equal job’, a different version from those of European countries. Some employers are reluctant to follow the government’s demand to heighten wages.
The Abe government tries to implement a free-of-charge child education policy, which is his major attraction. Prime Minister even pretended to suck up 300 billion Yen from the financial circle. His policies on wages, vanishing of irregular workers and free-of-charge education closely link with necessary measures for young people and women workers. The government deals with the business community: in exchange of benefits of corporate tax reduction and deregulation the employers are demanded to owe burdens.
Premier’s objective solely lies in winning in the referendum for constitution amendment to be a military power under which Japanese people should be governed. Don’t forget a historical lesson: fascists emphasized ‘public interests over private desires of capitalists’ in order to attract the working population.
Strategic Struggles are Unclear
The government is unable to tackle negative consequences caused by it; it does not know how to resolve the destroyed employment system, collapsed families, poorer public services, declining population and harsh splits among people. An example is clearly shown in its panic-stricken run over the free-of-charge education. If the consumption tax rate is surged, people feel less fairness in spending taxes and generation splits grow on pensions. The society as a whole will be more disruptive.
The constitution-amendment faction faces contradictions. They claim self-responsibility: they attribute responsibility for the poorer social services to responsibility of families. Therefore, they demand to provide a new article on families in the constitution. Their philosophical commitment is conflicting.
A problem lies in absence of a clear strategy to counter the government policies. Even though the government responds to problems from a populist point of view, pro-constitution forces are unable to implement their philosophy of universalism and independence of individuals and to enhance progressive taxation, including corporate taxes, to gain financial sources.
December 26, 2017