Shinzo Abe a fundamentally flawed candidate

2 Dec

Who is the new boss ? He’s the same as the old boss.

In fact Mr Abe was prime minister back in 2006. What happened and if he is such a great politician why is he still not PM ? Those are important questions so lets address them.

Shinzo is a true Japanese princeling, born to the political Kishi family one of whom served as a former PM in the late 50s. Mr Kishi was also a member of the Tojo cabinet during the war. He was found guilty and sent to prison after the war. However as most truly motivated men are not deterred from action, Kishi-san emerged to take part in the forming of a new political party. After serving out his jail sentence he founded the Japan Democratic party.

The apple does not fall far from the tree.

The former PM is not the answer for Japan because he quit. Mr Abe is a quitter because he cannot handle the pressure of the job. Why are we to expect any other result if he wins a second term ? In my opinion we shouldn’t as I feel his government will fail within a year of taking office.

As usual the standing PM of Japan’s popularity tapers off over the first year, however Abe’s government was especially soiled with numerous financial scandals and a suicide. With support falling off, a cabinet shuffle failing within 7 days of being announced and Mr Abe looking particularly pale he stepped up the microphone and tendered his resignation. Somehow I doubt Mr Kishi would have done the same but that is just conjecture on my part. Clearly Shinzo Abe’s decision making process is seriously hampered.

There are other reasons as well.

His education policy decisions are questionable. Search for “Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform” which Mr Abe openly supported. Its not surprising Shinzo would take such a position considering the Kishi-Abe clan roots.

He has visited Yasukuni Shrine. While this in itself is not necessarily a strike it does show a failure to understand how other regional powers perceive him. A sitting prime minister visiting the shrine is like throwing a match on kerosene and any politician of Abe’s status knows this. As long as the shrine contains war criminals its a losing move for a Japanese leader to make, especially if he seeks to foster good will with Japan’s neighbors.

His hawkish position is talk and not much more than that. He has made statements to the effect of “Japan must keep her natural waters free from Chinese aggression.” While that may play well to his conservative domestic base its virtually guaranteed to prompt a Chinese response. In fact it plays to China’s stronger hand in that the CCP wants the challenge. It gives the CCP the opportunity to flex their naval muscle in the area while at the same time allowing the government to paint the Japanese as aggressors. Additionally the CCP can release pent up domestic frustration within their own population by pointing the finger at the Japanese government. Its a win – win situation for the Chinese. A Japanese prime minister should know better than that.

Shinzo Abe is not master of his own decisions, but rather follows the advice of others. Is he a puppet ? I would say that is probably going too far but take a look at his “evolving” financial statements over the past week or two. First he was on record saying that 3% was a possible inflation target and that the BOJ should serve the needs of the greater Japanese public. Essentially challenging BOJ “independence”. Within a few days he had adjusted his speech to say 2% is preferred. Now he is backing off his BOJ statement as well. How are the Japanese to know what he stands for when its constantly changing ?

Shinzo Abe supports more pork barrel LDP spending projects. This during a debt crisis ? This is a joke right ? Actually it isn’t. The sad truth is that it was the LDP with its vice like grip on power in Japan over the last 50 years of the 20th century that are to blame for the current financial state of affairs. No project was too large. No airport too small. Now the people of Japan are saddled with numerous public projects that all lose money.

Shinzo Abe is a fundamentally flawed candidate because his platform is subject to his handlers wishes. He fails to comprehend that his positions isolate him from more domestic support and openly courts international crisis with his comments and actions. He wants to continue a failed financial policy and his hawkish talk is hot air.

Besides even if he does attain office he will quit in short fashion.

2 Responses to “Shinzo Abe a fundamentally flawed candidate”

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