Japan’s Conservatives Soon To Control Governmneet

The Japanese conservative party which was ousted just three years ago for the first time in modern Japanese history, is about to comfortably win the recently called. This http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/14/japan-conservatives-election-ldp-shinzo-abe” target=”_blank”>Guardian article indicates that the primary impetus is softness towards China in the recent Senkaku border dispute.

He is more nationalistic and looks prepared to take a harder line against China, though how much of that is campaign rhetoric is unknown.

The implications of this would primarily be greater damage to Sino-Japanese trade, though if the hard line does (unlikely) make China concede the islands, the energy advantages for Japan are not insubstantial. However, again, the greater trade between the two nations looks set to worsen should Abe take power. In light of other provocations such as the Chinese plane or North Korean rocket, it is also difficult to imagine Abe as being completely rhetorical in his words. Likely, boycotts will continue, Japanese companies will close factories, and possibly, Japan may have to look elsewhere for a primary regional trade partner.

2 thoughts on “Japan’s Conservatives Soon To Control Governmneet

  1. the prof

    As a previous prime minister Abe has a track record that is not particularly encouraging. First, his previous attempt was bumbling, with scandals and not much progress on anything. The previous time he made gestures towards China that were not helpful, so no sense this time will be different.

    However, the real election campaign is the poor economy, the disintegration of the DPJ as a party (starting with the exit of Ozawa, who took others with him), continuing scandals and missteps by Cabinet members, and a sense that he didn’t handle the China and other foreign policies very well.

    We’ll see what the outcome is in a day or so — the majority of the electorate favors “none of the above” but that’s not a choice and not something that tends to get people to go to the polls. So I’m not sure how well opinion surveys will predict the outcome.

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  2. wilburns

    On the point of finding new trading partners in the region, I posted the following:

    “Shinzo has said he hopes to expand Japan’s relations with its neighbors, though he strategically placed China at the bottom of that list of neighbors. This could be to the country’s detriment however, as his difficulties re-selling “Japan Inc.” to the world can’t possibly be made any easier by continuing to anger their most valuable trading partner. Then again, PM Shinzo has little choice, as the amount of oil Japan stands to gain in the Senkaku Islands dispute is too valuable to pass up.”

    In that vein, Shinzo has mentioned Australia, India, and Indonesia as country’es he hopes to get on closer terms with economically and diplomatically. However, I find it incredibly hard to see even all of those markets combined coming even close to filling the gap left by China in terms of trade.

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